So, there have been debates around for greater internal use of three rivers- Indus, Chenab and Jhelum that were allocated to Pakistan by the accord. The government is also certain to review its position on Tulbul/Wular Project on Chenab.
However, the verdict on the TUlbul/Wular Project on Chenab should be seen in the light of the 2014 floods in Kashmir. The main reason why so much flooding happened in the city was the siltation in the Wular Lake. Now if a barrage comes up, it will increase the threats of floods in Srinagar. Decisions should be technically evaluated. We should definitely pursue energy generation from the Western Rivers (Indus, the Jhelum, and Chenab). This is because water utilization for agriculture in Kashmir is not very high since the topography is rippling (irrigation is difficult) and farmers have moved to water-intensive body paddy to rain-fed horticulture.
The scrapping of the pact cannot be a “sound deterrent” due to stark consequences. Well, probably not a really good idea. Why so?
– India has no infrastructure to hold/divert the excess water. But, we can control the timing of the release of the water. Either way, building infrastructure to hold excess water and controlling the timing are long term strategies. And We don’t have money for that right now. Or do we? Corruption?
– If India walks out of an institutional mechanism such as the Indus treaty, the country will lose its credibility in the international community and have long term consequences. The image is very important you see.
– We must as well not forget that even though there is no treaty between India and China on the Brahmaputra, China does have a long-term strategic plan to divert the river Brahmaputra. Tampering with Indus Waters treaty will send a bad regional signal for upper riparian such as China and may aggravate the matters. Always be practical.
Although, I positively agree that treaty must be revisited to tackle to tackle two issues.
– The people of Jammu and Kashmir believe their rights on the river were not recognized in the Indus Treaty and it is severely biased towards Pakistan. And, now that climate change is the reality, new treaty needs to feature in that challenge. Who says Global warming is not a priority? Mr. Donald Trump? 🙂
– India has to utilize the provisions of the treaty more aggressively and in coordination with the states. It has also to measure and assess the actual flow in the Indus system before it can recalculate the utilization of waters. A lot of unused waters of eastern water flow to Pakistan unaccounted and UN-utilized.
This has to be harnessed more effectively by India.