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India hastens proceedings to tap Indus water

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New Delhi: With eye on Pakistan amid escalating tensions between both the neighbours, India on Friday kick started discussions on tapping Indus and its tributaries water system.

A high level ministerial meeting chaired by Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Nipendra Mishra held its first meeting here on Friday focusing on expediting ground zero work of proposed hydro electric projects in Jammu and Kashmir besides developing their necessary infra and storage capacity for various uses including domestic.

While J&K’ presence is quintessential in the projects, Punjab which encompass three eastern tributaries of the river including Ravi, Beas and Sutlej also participated in the discussions.

India is looking well ahead as to use the waters of the river system to its fullest possible extent under the Indus Water Treaty. Both the states have been asked to submit ground zero reports on the issue as soon as possible as the next meeting is scheduled to be held in January.

Notably, the country has not been fully exploiting its water share of the river system neither does it have any storage facilities in the east to tap the river waters. As per the treaty India can store up to 3.6 million acre feet of water for various uses from western tributaries Indus, Jhelum and Chenab and let them flow it can exercise full rights over eastern rivers.

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