Work on Kishanganga won’t stop: Govt
Srinagar, May 22: Amid brewing controversy between India and Pakistan over water issues, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday asserted that work on Kishanganga Power Project would continue even as the neighboring country has threatened to take the project to the World’ Banks court of arbitration for alleged violation of the Indus Water Treaty by India.
The Minister of State for Power Shabir Ahmad Khan told Greater Kashmir that “Only 10 per cent of the water of Kishanganga river flowing to Pakistan would be used (for power generation). It is not going to have any impact on the water flow to Pakistan. The project is coming up totally in accordance with the Indus water Treaty,” said Khan.
The IWT, inked between India and Pakistan in 1960, has a provision to appoint a neutral expert by the World Bank as a last option to resolve water related disputes between the two countries.
About the reports that Pakistan had served a legal notice to India threatening to take the issue to international court as the power project would hit the country’s agriculture, Khan said Pakistan had also upped the ante over the construction of first phase of 450 megawatt Baglihar hydel power project on Chenab. “That time they leveled the same allegation. But later it was proved that they realized that power project was not violating the Treaty,” he added.
The 330 Megawatt Kishanganga power project which is being constructed by the Hindustan Construction Company Ltd jointly with UK-based Halcrow Group Ltd, is one of the seven projects which were handed over by the state government to the Government of India subsidiary, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation against a royalty of 12 per cent free power. It involves construction of almost 40 meters concrete faced rock-fill dam in Gurez and a power house on the Kishanganga River. “The work (on the project) will continue as there is no violation of the Treaty and the project is scheduled for completion by 2016,” the minister said.
The Principal Secretary, Power Development Department, BR Sharma said, “The Indian chapter of Indus Water Commission has already made it clear to its Pakistan counterpart that there is no violation of the Treaty. The project is coming up in accordance with it. Let us see what happens in future,” Sharma said.
Pertinently, Pakistan is also setting up a power project on the river, which has been re-christened as Neelam, on other side of the Line of Control to meet the growing energy demands.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 22 May 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 22 May 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 23 May 2010 00:00:00 IST
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