Water terrorism: People displaced, crops destroyed as India releases water

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LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Besides continuing aggression at the Working Boundary as well as the Line of Control, now New Delhi has resorted to “water terrorism” by releasing a huge quantity of floodwater into rivers entering the Pakistani territories from Indian side.

In its latest act of aggression, India released up to 0.2 million cusecs of water into the River Sutlej without notifying the relevant authorities. The flood water entered the fields destroying crops in vast tracts of land around Kasur and adjoining areas. The people living in River Sutlej area were displaced as they were moved to safer places.

At least 150,000 to 200,000 cusecs of water from the Indian state of Punjab is expected to spill into Ganda Singh Wala — a village in Pakistan near Kasur, located at the border — during the next 12 to 24 hours, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) warned.

India has also opened three out of five spillways of Ladakh Dam, which may lead to flooding in the nearby settlements, the NDMA added. According to the Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) Shiraz Jamil Memon, India had suspended the Indus Waters Treaty practically and stopped all kinds of data sharing related to the water agreement between the two countries. India also did not notify Pakistan about release of additional water into River Sutlej, the official said.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar chaired a high-level meeting in Lahore earlier Monday to review precautionary measures for a possible flood situation due to discharge of around 200,000 cusecs of water by India in River Sutlej.

The meeting also discussed rescue and relief operation in the event of a flood on both banks of the river. The meeting was informed that 81 relief camps had already been established in flood-prone areas.

The CM directed the authorities concerned to ensure timely evacuation of people from the affected areas.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Punjab has also issued a warning about possible floods in River Sutlej, Beas and Ravi as level of water atkey barrages was continuously increasing.

The administration has been advised to initiate necessary measures to tackle any emergency-like situation.

The Flood Forecasting Division Lahore said that heavy-to-extremely heavy rainfall had been observed over the upper and lower catchments of Rivers Sutlej, Beas and Ravi during the last 72 hours.

Discharges from Bhakra Dam and merging the flows from lower catchments were likely to synchronise to form medium-to-high flood level in River Sutlej.

The water flow could attain 80,000 to 90,000 cusecs with sharp peak up to 150,000 cusecs, starting from between August 20 to 21 at Sulemanki, 70,000-9,0000 cusecs (medium flood level) with sharp peak up to 130,000 cusecs (high flood level) starting from August 23 and at Islam 70,000-100,000 cusecs (low-medium flood level) starting from August 25.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) slammed the Indian government for water terrorism.

According to the details released by PTI Central Department, PTI Chief Organizer Saifullah Niazi slated the Indian government for water terrorism after Delhi released excessive quantity of water into Pakistan’s Punjab.

He sent his workers to help in the high alert areas and on this occasion said that the Indian Nazi government was hell-bent on destroying people’s lives in the region. He urged the PTI activists to step ahead, aware the public, set up campuses and reach out to help citizens in high alert areas. “May Allah protect us from all kinds of disasters,” he prayed.

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