Hailing the government's decision to stop India's share of river water from flowing to Pakistan, Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Thursday said the excess water not utilised by Jammu and Kashmir will now be used by Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. Questioning the previous Congress governments for not taking such a step, he said the Centre's decision has corrected a long-standing anomaly.
"The earlier governments have to answer why they sat over this (Shahpur-Kandi) project for nearly half a century. It (the decision to stop water going to Pakistan) is a correction of a long-standing anomaly which remained unattended by the earlier governments," the minister told PTI.
Singh, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), said the construction of the Shahpur-Kandi dam on river Ravi was started due to the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"When completed, the entire water of river Ravi, which was flowing into Pakistan despite being India's share of water under the Indus Water Treaty, will now be utilised in the border districts of Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir and Gurdaspur in Punjab," he said.
Singh, who is a Lok Sabha member from Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur constituency, said a pragmatic decision has now been taken by the government to simultaneously construct a canal system so that water, which is not utilised by Jammu and Kahsmir, can be used by neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan instead of flowing into Pakistan.
"Under the leadership of Hon'ble PM Sri @narendramodi ji, Our Govt. 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," Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari said in a tweet.
Under the leadership of Hon'ble PM Sri @narendramodi ji, Our Govt. 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.- Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) February 21, 2019