Today is World Water Day but we don’t have any right to celebrate this day even if we are blessed with such resources, because our this right (right to celebrate the nature’s gift) is snatched by both India and Pakistan. In the name of Indus Water Treaty, they have divided our water and have made us economically weaker. J&K is suffering losses and economic dependence because of this root cause.
“Impact of Indus Water Treaty On Economy Of J&K State”
Jammu and Kashmir in spite of being the upstream area has been effected due to restrictions placed by the Indus water Treaty (IWT). The water resources, the backbone of J&K’s economy, have been snatched by the instrumentality of IWT. Also the treaty has haunted all economical activities of the state. J&K has 20000 MWs of hydro electric potential. J&K has so far been able to harness just 10% of the total potential because of IWT. This results into shortage of power. Thus the state is forced to purchase power continuously from outside the state resulting in outflow of money which hinders overall growth of J&K’s economy. Therefore India & Pakistan must give people of J&K their birth right to use their water resources because of the following reasons:-
1. The State of Jammu and Kashmir is being affected at the benefits of the two countries. Indus, Jhelum and Chenab are rivers which flow from J&K and it is our birth right to use our water. Under the treaty, J&K can use only a quantum of waters of the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum for power generation and lift irrigation so that Pakistan gets uninterrupted water from these rivers and in return India gets exclusive use of Sutlej, Beas and Ravi. While as people of J&K get losses and fiscal deficits and are labeled as beggars.
2. In last 50 years losses caused by the Indus Water Treaty to J&K’s economy in terms of development of industry, power and agriculture is nearly equal to US$ 4.5 billion. The annual energy loss suffered by J&K is 60,000 million units valuing Rs. 12,000 Crores at Rs. 2.00 per unit per year, which is substantially less than the market rate. India and Pakistan are making profits using our water and are denying us the right to use our own water. Why must J&K suffer these losses?
3. J&K government purchases power from the northern grid of central government. The power which J&K buys from the center is the same power which is produced using J&K’s water from power projects under Central Sector. This means the electricity produced form our water at a cost of few pennies is again sold back to us for millions.
4. J&K because of its abundant water resources could have been able to generate surplus electricity which it could have exported to neighboring states, resulting in additional revenue to J&K and this revenue would have been many folds more than the annual budget given to J&K by Indian Union but sadly because of the Indus Water Treaty J&K is helpless. If this treaty is abolished J&K won’t need the annual budget from the India Union which will result in J&K’s economic independence.
Indus Water Treaty is an inhuman instrumentality signed between India and Pakistan which provides India and Pakistan bilateral benefits and on the other hand is imposing economic sanctions on the people of J&K and is ultimately denying the people of J&K their basic human right, the right to use their water for their own benefit.
–by Shaykh Shakeel Bin Abdullah