Sunday, February 28, 2021

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Over 50 Villages Submerge In Pakistan After India Released Excess Water Into River Sutlej

Dozens of villages in Pakistan submerged into water and number of people had to be evacuated after India released up to 38,000 cusecs of water into River Sutlej without intimation earlier this week.

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Over 50 villages were submerged near the Sutlej on Wednesday, including areas in Kasur, Chachran Sharif, Kot Mithan, Chanda Singhwala, Gati Kalanger, Mastayki, and Bhikiwind. Crops stretching over hundreds of acres near the bed of Sutlej were also destroyed by the flooding according to reports in Pakistan Media.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had earlier warned of a flood-like situation in the areas alongside River Sutlej after India decided to release up to 200,000 million cusecs of water into the river without notifying the relevant authorities.

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The water level at Ganda Singh Wala was 17.8 feet with 37,640 cusecs on Tuesday and was expected to reach up to 100,000 -150,000 cusecs by Wednesday, according to NDMA spokesperson Brigadier Mukhtar Ahmed.

He further said all federal and provincial bodies were ready to cope with any untoward situation.

On Monday, Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters Shiraz Jamil Memon said India had suspended the Indus Waters Treaty and stopped all kinds of data sharing related to the water agreement between the two countries. India also did not notify Pakistan about releasing additional water into River Sutlej, the official said.

However, on Tuesday morning Pakistan’s office of the commissioner for Indus waters finally received a letter from its Indian counterpart stating that the data was being shared under the Indus Water treaty.

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The Indus Water Treaty is a World Bank-brokered settlement signed in Karachi on September 19, 1960, between Pakistan and India to use the water available in the six rivers of the Indus system.

As per this agreement, India was given control over the water flowing in three eastern rivers – the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej with the mean flow of 33 million acre-feet (MAF), while Pakistan was given control over the water flowing in three western rivers – the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum with the mean flow of 80 MAF.

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