March 2003 News

Kashmir Upper House Passes Resolution On Review Of Indus Water Treaty

3 March 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Correspondent

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council has passed a resolution demanding review of Indus Water Treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1960. The resolution was moved by National Conference member, Mrs Depinder Kour in the Upper House. It was seconded by another National Conference legislator, Mr Ram Paul. While moving the resolution, the Member pointed out that the Treaty signed between Pakistan and India for sharing the water of six major rivers including Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, Chenab, Jhelum and Indus by the two countries was totally discriminatory. The then top leaders of the Government of India offered to give water of major rivers of J&K- Indus, Chenab and Jhelum- to Pakistan while the water from Ravi, Beas and Sutlej was retained with India. For this major decision they never consulted the leaders or the Governments of Jammu and Kashmir. Now, the State is suffering due to the wrong decision of the then leaders and losing more than Rs 6000 crores annually. The State cannot raise major projects to produce electricity, sufficient water cannot be collected for irrigation purpose and with this the Industry has also suffered major setback. Over all the economy of the State is worst hit. Keeping in view the above facts, the Government of India should abrogate this controversial Treaty and also provide relief- compensation to the J&K Government on account of Power, Agriculture and Industrial sector, Mrs Kour said. More than two lakh hectare of land could not be used for irrigational purpose due to this discriminatory decision by the Government. The Tulbul navigational project and Salal project have also become the victim of this Treaty. The two more projects like Bhagliar and Swalakot are also going to meet the same fate in near future, she warned. She suggested that India should stay away from the forthcoming review meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission being held in May this year. The issue to abrogate the Treaty should be taken up strongly and be made clear to that nation that they cannot expect water of our rivers if it continues to support terrorism and indulge in bloodshed of the people of this State. Pakistan has made best use of Mangla dam on Jhelum while the Salal dam has been facing severe problems due to restrictions imposed by Pakistan as per this Treaty, she maintained. Another member, Mohd Aslam while participating in the discussion, said that step-motherly treatment was meted out to the people of J&K state by the Central leaders while signing this Treaty. The Union Government must understand the seriousness of the issue and take immediate steps in this regard. Heavy loss is being suffered by the J&K Government with this act of the Centre and they should immediately compensate the State. Minister for PHE and Irrigation, Qazi Mohd Afzal while replying said that Government was alive to this issue and understands that J&K has been left to suffer due to this Treaty and some justice from the Central Government is expected in this regard. He assured the House that issue will be taken up with the Central Government for seeking compensation from them especially for power sector. He also asked the member to withdraw the resolution with the assurance that State Government will take up the issue of compensation with Centre. The Member preferred to press for the review and abrogation of the Treaty and it was passed by the majority vote in the House which after passing, referred it to the Government of India for consideration.

 

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