Prelims Program: Indus River System
Why it is important?
- In view of the Pulwama attack, India is weighing its options for retaliation against Pakistan, who sponsored the attack.Out of many options, one big move that India can take is to abrogate the Indus Waters Treaty (which deals with river Indus and its five tributaries).
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Indus River System
- It is one of the most important rivers on the Indian subcontinent.
- Origin: The Indus River originates near the Mansarovar Lake in the Tibetan plateau, on the northern slopes of the Kailash Mountain Range.
- Length of the river: 3200 kilometer (2000 mile)
- It passes through Ladakh district in Kashmir.
- Subsequently, the river gets into Pakistan running across the North in a southward route down the whole span of Pakistan, to join the Arabian Sea.
- Left- bank tributaries (joins the main river from left side): Zaskar river, Suru river, Soan river, Jhelum river, Chenab river, Ravi river, Beas river, Satluj river are its major left-bank tributaries.
- Right- bank tributaries (joins the main river from right side): The Shyok river, Gilgit river, Hunza river, Swat river, Kunnar river, Kurram river and Kabul river are its major right-bank tributaries.
- The name Punjab has been derived from these tributaries that collectively signify “five waters” or “land of five waters”. The five rivers or Panjnad after which Punjab is named are the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and the Sutlej.
Five main tributaries of the Indus River:
- Source: Spring at Verinag.
- The river runs through the Wular lake and Srinagar in India, prior to moving into the Punjab province of Pakistan.
- Important Dam: Uri dam (J&K)
- Source: River Chandra and river Bhaga rise on the opposite sides of the Baralacha pass and meet at Tandi (H.P) to from Chenab.
- In Himachal Pradesh, the river is also called the Chandrabhaga.
- It flows parallely to the Pir Panjal Range.
- The river cuts a deep gorge near Kistwar,
- It enters the plain area near Akhnur in Jammu and Kashmir and is subsequently connected with the Jhelum.
- It creates the border between the Rechna (between Ravi and Chenab) and the Jech (between Jhelum and Chenab) Doabs.
- The Chenab also meets the Ravi and the Sutlej in Pakistan.
- Imp Dams: Baglihar Dam (J&K), Dulhasti Dam (J&K), Salal Dam (J&K)
- Source: Rakshas Tal or Rakas Lake, which is linked to the Manasarovar Lake with a watercourse in Tibet.
- Through Shipkila pass the river Satluj enters India from Tibet
- It cuts a gorge in Naina Devi Dhar, where Bhakra dam has been constructed. Later it enters the Punjab plains.
- Beas joins the Satluj at Harike and in Pakistan, Ravi, Chenab and Jhelum rivers also adds their water into Satluj before it joins the Indus.
- Imp Dams: Bhakra dam (H.P.) and Kol Dam (H.P.)
- Source: Kullu hills near Rotang pass
- The river drains the area between Pir Panjal and Dhaola Dhar ranges.
- It enters plains near Madhopur (Punjab) and later enters Pakistan.
- Imp Dams: Ranjit Sagar Dam(Punjab), Shahpur Kandi Dam(Punjab), Bassi Dam (H.P.), Chamera Dam (H.P.)
- Source: Bias Kund near Rohtang pass.
- The river flows across Kulu and Manali,
- The Beas meets the Sutlej river close to Harika, after being connected with some tributaries.
- River Beas lies entirely within the Indian territory.
- Imp Dams: Pong Dam (H.P.), Pandoh Dam (H.P.),
Doab: The tract of land lying between two converging, or confluent, rivers
Each of the tracts of land lying between the confluent rivers of the Punjab region of India and Pakistan has a distinct name
The names (except for ‘Sindh Sagar’) are a combination of the first letters, in the Persian alphabet, of the names of the rivers that bound the Doab. For example, Jech = ‘Je'(Jhelum) + ‘Ch'(Chenab).