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Beyond the Sutlej–Yamuna Link Canal

Water Use Scenario in Punjab

In view of the complexity and sensitivity of the river water sharing conflicts between Punjab and Haryana, a serious review taking into account the current availability of the quantity of water is of utmost importance. The optimum use of water, especially for paddy irrigation, can save substantial amount of water. The two states need to give increased attention to sustainable use of water, even as they assert their claims over the river waters.

The Indus Waters Treaty, 1960 on water sharing of the Indus system of rivers between India and Pakistan gave exclusive rights over the waters of the Ravi, Beas and Sutlej to India, and that of the three other rivers to Pakistan. The interstate sharing of the water of the former three rivers, however, continues to be a bone of contention in spite of a number of agreements whose validity also remains questionable.

On 29 January 1955 in a meeting chaired by the then union irrigation minister, the states of Punjab, Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU), Rajasthan, and Jammu and Kashmir resolved to divide the water out of the estimated 15.85 million acre-feet (MAF) in the proportion of 5.9 MAF, 1.3 MAF, 8 MAF and 0.6 MAF, respectively. With the reorganisation of states in 1956 and the Punjab–PEPSU merger, Punjab’s share became 7.2 MAF.

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Updated On : 24th Jan, 2017

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