A day after asserting that India would stop the flow of water from its share of rivers Ravi, Beas and Sutlej to Pakistan, Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari said he had asked his department for a report on how to block other water resources from flowing into the country.
"We do not want even a single drop of water to reach Pakistan," Nitin Gadkari told news agency ANI on Friday.
On Thursday, the minister reiterated the government's plan to restrict the flow of water to Pakistan amid anger over the Pulwama terror attack, in which over 40 soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber. The attack was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed.
"Under the leadership of (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) our government has decided to stop our share of water which used to flow to Pakistan. We will divert water from Eastern rivers and supply it to our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab," Mr Gadkari had tweeted last evening.
Pakistan was reported as saying that it was "not concerned". Khawaja Shumail, the Secretary of Pakistan's Ministry of Water Resources, told Dawn News: "We have neither concern nor objection if India diverts water of eastern rivers and supplies it to its people or uses it for other purposes, as the IWT (Indus Waters Treaty) allows it do so."
After an attack on security forces in Kashmir's Uri in 2016, India began to fast-track the development of dam projects upstream. Pakistan alleged that some of these project violated the World Bank-mediated treaty on the sharing of the Indus waters, upon which 80 per cent of its irrigated agriculture depends.
In the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty, India has full rights over the waters of the eastern rivers - Ravi, Beas and Sutlej; the Chenab, Jhelum and Indus waters have been allotted to Pakistan.
"We will spend the requisite money to build dams in order to stop the flow of river waters to Pakistan. We will divert water from the eastern rivers and supply it to the people of Jammu and Kashmir," Mr Gadkari said.
"The centre has given approval for the construction of three dams. Shahpur-Kandi will be built on Ravi river in Srinagar. The second is the Ujh multipurpose project and the third one is the second Ravi-Beas Link. The water stored in these dams will be supplied to Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Punjab," he told ANI.
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