Village in Karnah goes dry after water from across the border stops due to ‘unknown reasons’

Sadpora, a village in Karnah is facing drought as the water received for irrigation purposes from across the border (Pakistan) has abruptly come to a halt.

Citing unknown reasons, the local resident of the village have stated their troubles regarding the non-availability of water for irrigation for their fields, claiming that the blockage has led to a catastrophe.

“We used water from across the border after a routine flag meeting between the people from both sides including the civil and military authorities, but this year, the flow of water from across the border has been stopped for unknown reasons,” a local resident  Zahoor Anjum told news agency GNS.

The local authorities have been alerted regarding the matter. SDM Karnah Dr Ilyas has promised to take up the matter with the military authorities for early redressal while Brigade Commander PK MIshra stated that he would “allow the prominent persons including Sarpanches, Numberdars, and Chowkidars to hold talks with their counterparts on the other side”.

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The water crisis between India and Pakistan is not new.

Recently, the issue came to fore again when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi  inaugurated the ‘controversial’ Kishanganga Hydel Power Project which Pakistan believes goes against the Indus water Treaty.

A delegation from Pakistan was sent to the World Bank to address Islamabad’s concerns however, an agreement couldn’t be reached at. Eventually, The World Bank has asked Pakistan not refer the Kishanganga dam dispute to the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) and accept India’s offer of appointing a ‘neutral expert’.

Signed in September 19, 1960, the treaty was a water distribution treaty signed by both India and Pakistan under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru and Ayub Khan. It was brokered by the World Bank, underlining its significance and role in the current hydropolitics. The treaty deals with western and eastern rivers and procures the direction of the flow between the two neighbors.

Seeing how the Karnah water is exclusively permitted by Pakistan, failure of non-availability may point a finger towards the consequential talks between the World Bank and Pakistan. Since the season depends on a good amount of water for cultivation purposes, closure of the channel could mean difficulties ahead for the residents of Sadpora.

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