Rally for review of Indus Waters Treaty

Published February 26, 2024
Civil society activists take out a rally seeking review of the Indus Waters Treaty to revive the natural flow of rivers. — Dawn
Civil society activists take out a rally seeking review of the Indus Waters Treaty to revive the natural flow of rivers. — Dawn

LAHORE: Participants in a rally organised by civil society organisations have urged Pakistan and India to review the Indus Waters Treaty to revive the natural flows of the rivers, including the Ravi in Lahore.

They demanded the government take effective steps to stop drainage of the toxic sewage into the Ravi and other abandoned rivers and ensure its drainage after treatment to improve deteriorating environmental conditions in the river and several localities situated along its banks.

“We want revival of the natural flow of the river Ravi, which is now abandoned and has become a main source of the entire Lahore’s sewage/wastewater accumulation,” Abuzar Madhu of the Ravi Bachao Tehreek said while addressing the rally on Sunday.

It merits mentioning that under the Indus Waters Treaty between both the countries, Pakistan has rights over the use of the waters of three rivers, the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab, whereas India has rights over the waters of the Ravi, Sutlej and Beas. As a result, the Ravi, Sutlej and Beas have become abandoned having no fresh-water the whole year except for a few months of the monsoon.

The rally started from the National College of Arts and ended at the Ravi riverbed after passing through the Lower Mall, Data Darbar, Bhaati Chowk and Ravi Road. The participants were carrying placards and banners inscribed with the slogans like ‘Save the Ravi’, ‘Water is life’, ‘I am Ravi and Save me’, ‘Save Rivers—Save Life’ etc.

“We want to protect the lives of the public at large. We also want to protect the life of the turtles, frogs and all other water-animals,” said a protester talking to the media. “How long will continue compromising on the health of public affected by the sewage draining into the Ravi in bulk on a daily basis?” he asked.

The participants vowed to continue the move till revival of the Ravi and other rivers.

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2024

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