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India rubbishes Pak charges on water theft

Peeved at Pak`s oft-repeated allegation that it is being deprived of its share of common waters, India said such charges were aimed at diverting the attention of their people from their own inefficient use of the vital resource.



New Delhi: Peeved at Pakistan`s oft-repeated
allegation that it is being deprived of its share of common
waters, India on Sunday said such charges were aimed at diverting
the attention of their people from their "own inefficient" use
of the vital resource.

On the eve of the bilateral talks on water here, India
asserted that it has never deprived Pakistan of its share of
water, not even during wars and had no intention to do so
ever.

"India has no intention of taking away water which may be
rightfully theirs...We have demonstrated this even in the
past. When relations were at nadir, when we were at war, we
did not use water as a weapon to deprive them of their share,"
Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told a news agency.

On Pakistan`s charge that India was "stealing" water, he
said, "They are diverting the attention of their people from
their own inefficient use of water... we have seen this in
case of Baglihar (power project)."

His statement comes in the backdrop of Pakistan`s threat
to move the World Bank for arbitration over Kishenganga power
project in Jammu and Kashmir, which it alleges violates the
1960 Indus Water Treaty as water would be diverted.

Pakistan is said to have appointed two arbitrators to
contest its case, though it is yet to formally approach the
World Bank.

Pakistan is also objecting to construction of two other
hydel power projects -- Uri-II and Chutak -- in Jammu and
Kashmir.

These issues are expected to come up for discussion
during the meeting of Indus Water Commissioners here tomorrow.

Suggesting that India was ready to walk the extra mile,
Bansal said, "Our effort will be to sort out the matter
through negotiations...be it at a higher level also."

The 240 MW Uri-II hydel power project is being
constructed on Jhelum river in Kashmir valley.

The 44 MW Chutak project is being constructed in Kargil
district of Jammu and Kashmir`s Ladakh province and would
harness the hydropower potential of Suru river.

The barrage of the project is located near Sarzhe village
and the power house is proposed on right bank of river Suru
near village Chutak.

Pakistan claims that the construction of the Chutak
project would block 35,000-feet per acre water.

India maintains that there is no violation of the treaty
and is expected to demonstrate this at the meeting.

Under the Indus Water Treaty, Pakistan has exclusive
right over three of the common rivers -- Indus, Jhelum and
Chenab -- while India has exclusive right over Sutlej, Ravi
and Beas.

PTI

From Zee News

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