With the pace of urbanisation taking place and addressing the climate change there is need for a new look into the water management with perspective to monsoon change and human requirement for irrigation and consumption purposes. Jammu and Kashmir bestowed with this natural resource has yet to get the optimum utilisation of this depleting natural resource. In this regard three irrigation projects in the Indus river basin, which were supposed to be completed few years back, are yet to meet their deadlines. These projects are part of the 23 irrigation works the government had prioritised to complete two years ago under two central schemes. The three projects include the Shahpur Kandi dam project, a second Sutlej-Beas link in Punjab and the Ujh Dam project in Jammu and Kashmir. These projects were stuck in red tape and inter-state disputes. But it has been decided to expedite the execution of these projects. Under the Indus Waters Treaty, waters flowing in three of Indus tributaries-the Sutlej, Beas and Ravi have been allotted to India; while the Chenab, Jhelum and Indus waters have been allotted to Pakistan. Of the total 168 million acre-feet, India’s share of water from the three allotted rivers is 33 million acre-feet, which constitutes nearly 20 per cent. India uses nearly 93-94 per cent of its share under the Indus Waters Treaty. The rest of the water remains unutilised and goes to Pakistan. After the Uri attack in Kashmir in September 2016, the government had sought to use the Indus Waters Treaty to put pressure on Pakistan. The measures included effectively using India’s share of waters that flow into Pakistan. This also included fast-tracking irrigation and hydropower projects by resolving the inter-state disputes. The Centre has also asked the Punjab government to prepare a feasibility report of the second Ravi-Beas link that is expected to further help in increasing utilisation of India’s share of water under the treaty. The Union Government had launched the PMKYS in 2015 to enhance physical access to water on farm under assured irrigation but the delay in completion of these projects have failed to tap the full exploitation of farm water use efficiency.
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