Indo-Pak water talks end; three projects resolved

Last Updated: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 00:14

New Delhi: The three-day Indo-Pak talks on water ended on Wednesday with the two sides addressing contentious
issues relating to three power projects being constructed in
Jammu and Kashmir, but matters related to one still remained
unresolved.

The two sides signed minutes of the meeting between the
Indus Water Commissioners as also those of the meeting held in
Lahore in March when they had disagreed on a number of issues.

During the talks between Indus Water Commissioner G
Ranganathan and his counterpart Jamaat Ali Shah, India agreed
to provide advance flood warning to Pakistan for the coming
Monsoon season, continuing with the practice since 1989.

The annual report and the action plan of the Permanent
Indus Commission were also approved during the meeting,
Secretary (Water Resources) U N Panjiar said.

The two sides failed to resolve issues related to the
Nimoo Bazgo hydel power project in Ladakh region of Jammu and
Kashmir and decided to hold further discussions during the
next round of talks.

Pakistan has certain objections on ponderage and silt
levels of the project which would be generating 239 Million
Units of power.

However, India insists that it is a run-of-the-river
project.

The three power projects on which differences were
resolved are Baglihar, Uri II and Chutak as Pakistan gave up
its objections on these.

Pakistan had raised objections over the initial filling
of Baglihar dam in Jammu and Kashmir.

Islamabad had claimed it was not getting 55,000 cusecs
of water at Magrala when India filled up the dam commissioned
in October, 2008. India had contented that water as per the
1960 Indus Water Treaty was being provided to Pakistan.

After the discussions, it was satisfied and decided not
to raise the matter further.

Panjiar said India would keep in mind the concerns of
Pakistan while filling up the dam and would continue to do
that in future.

Earlier, it had taken the issue related to Baglihar to
the World Bank, which is neutral arbitrator under the Indo-Pak
Indus Water Treaty of 1960. It gave verdict in favour of India
in February 2007.

Pakistan had also raised objections over the 240 MW
Uri-II project being constructed on Jhelum river in Kashmir
Valley and the 44 MW Chutak plant being built on Suru, a
tributary of Indus river in Kargil district of Jammu and
Kashmir`s Ladakh province.

Pakistan had claimed that the projects would deprive it
of its share of water.

However, it withdrew its objections on the first day of
the talks on Monday, marking the first time that Pakistan has
accepted the designs of power projects at the level of Indus
Water Commission.

The two projects are in an advance stage and are
likely to be completed by the end of this year.

Earlier, it took a ministerial meeting to make
Pakistan agree to Salal power project.

Under the 1960 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



First Published: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 00:14

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