Fast tracking projects to arrest unutilised water

Under Indus Water Treaty, India’s share of water is not fully utilised which goes to Pakistan in addition to its share of water from Chenab, Jehlum and Indus rivers . It has now been decided to tap this un-utilised water to be used by ShahpurKandiproject in Punjab and the Ujh Dam project in Jammu and Kashmir . It is surprising that the precious water not utilised by the country was allowed to flow down to Pakistan , not that we did not require it badly but perhaps no one did pay any attention to it in the present era of shrinking of resources of water as against the constant rise in its demand. Perhaps, the current dispensation too would have allowed this extra benefit out from our hard earned share to slip down to a belligerent neighbour had that neighbour not masterminded the attack on our Army camp in Uri Kashmir in 2016 when a review of water sharing under the said treaty was decided.
Needless to add, even when water crisis is progressively looming large in most parts of the world, India has enough water but two things are adversely impacting it in the sense of utilisation, that of lack of effective management and its wanton wastage .Conserving of water and its judicious use are still not effectively understood resulting in the shortages and other related problems. It is prudent to plug all routes of its wastages and flowing down to those countries which have no right over it and the decision to arrest the unutilised water out from our share under IWT is a step in the very right direction.
In this connection, Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Nitin Gadkari signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Haryana , Himachal Pradesh and Delhi for construction of Renukaji Multi Purpose Dam Project in Upper Yamuna Basin.
Giving the details, the Minister informed that out of 168 million acre-feet , India’s share of water from the three allotted rivers is 33 million acre-feet which constitutes nearly 20 percent . Out of this, India uses only 93 percent of its share and rest of the water remains unutilised which goes to Pakistan . We watch during peak summers , Delhi residents scrambling for water and this water issue has even graduated to an election issue at the top and though different Governments keep promising about better improvement in avalialabity and supply of water, the fact of the matter is that there is no major improvement , there being the huge gap between supply and demand. However, NitinGadkari is hopeful after signing of agreements for these projects , Delhi would face no drinking water problems for the next 50 years and Rajasthan too would get enough water for drinking and irrigation. It is because the projects will ensure more flow in River Yamuna which was the need of the hour.
In this scenario, signing of Renukaji Dam project had been a very important occasion of historic importance as it is conceived as a storage project on Yamuna’s tributary known as Giri River in Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh and this project has the potential to supply 23 cusecs water to Delhi and other basin states. Besides, this project would also generate 40 MW of power during peak flow and would be executed by Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd. Renukaji Dam will have stored water enough tobe used by Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Delhi from the existing Barrages in these states. Management of water is hoped to undergo a sea change in order to cope up with the demand from the increase in population, fast urbanisation, changing water habits , surge in needs and requirements and every possible source is needed to be explored and exploited.