Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday blamed the Indus Water Treaty for letting water from the rivers Sutlej, Ravi and Beas flow through Pakistan and into the sea, adding that he had set up a task force on the treaty.
Addressing a gathering in Bhatinda, where he laid the foundation stone of an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to cater to the population of the region, Modi lamented that the water from these rivers, over which Indian farmers have a right, were not being used by Pakistan or India.
“The task force I have set up is mandated to stop every drop of water from these rivers from flowing through Pakistan, and bring it back to the farmers of Punjab, J&K and India,” the prime minister said.
Water is a crucial issue in poll-bound Punjab –- particularly since the state is embroiled in a fight with Haryana over the sharing of Ravi-Beas waters through the Sutlej-Yamuna link canal. However, he did not touch on the contentious river water dispute between the two neighbouring states
The prime minister urged farmers of the region not to burn paddy husk, and advised them to convert it into manure.
Referring to the demonetisation that he notified, the Prime Minister said that there would be difficulties on the way,adding that he had come to seek their help. He urged people to convert their mobile phones into mobile banks and mobile wallets and make India a cashless economy. “Every family has four cell phones,” he remarked, adding that going cashless was the need of the hour.