`India not stealing Pakistan`s share of river waters`

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - 20:29

Lahore: India is not "stealing"
Pakistan`s share of river waters and all hydropower projects
being built by the country conform to the provisions of the
Indus Waters Treaty of 1960, Indus Waters Commissioner G
Ranganathan on Tuesday said.

He made the remarks at the conclusion of three-day
talks with his Pakistani counterpart Jamaat Ali Shah.

The talks, which focussed on the Nimmo-Bazgo and
Chutak hydropower projects being built in Jammu and Kashmir,
ended inconclusively and both sides will meet in New Delhi in
May to resolve their differences.
The Indian official made it clear that his country was
not "stealing" Pakistan`s share of waters.

Ranganathan reiterated that India was committed to the
Indus Waters Treaty and was "designing all power projects as
per criteria permitted under" the pact.

He said there was "media propaganda" in Pakistan that
India was stealing Pakistan`s share of waters.

"Nimmo-Bazgo and Chutak dams are within the
permissible limits of the Indus Waters Treaty and there is no
need to change anything," he said.

Ranganathan also denied allegations that India had
violated the Indus Waters Treaty. Information about India`s
hydropower projects was provided to Pakistan on time and there
had been no delays, he said.

The Indian side had listened to Pakistan`s point of
view and also tried to convey its viewpoint, he said.
Pakistan`s proposals and reservations will be looked into, he
added.
Briefing journalists at the end of the talks here,
Pakistani Indus Waters Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah said his
side had expressed concerns that the Nimmo-Bazgo and Chutak
projects will affect water flows to Pakistan.

"We conveyed our concerns to India as we fear there
will be a reduction of water supply in the Indus river from
Indian Kashmir after the construction of the two dams," Shah
said.

The Nimmo-Bazgo dam`s design is aimed at maximizing
"manipulatable water space", he said.

"The Indian side has designed the entire project on
maximum projected notional figures regarding water and flood
flows," he added and insisted that India must take actual
river flow figures and adjust the design accordingly.

Shah said India wanted to maximize free board (free
space above lake level), fix spillways at the lowest possible
point and the flushing outlet at the highest point.

"These efforts, if allowed, will give India massive
space to manipulate water flows," he claimed.

He also said Pakistan had asked India to provide
details of water being consumed for agriculture.

"We have been demanding this since 1980," he said and
reiterated that Pakistan might opt for third party arbitration
if differences over water issues are not resolved by May. The
nine-member Indian delegation will return home tomorrow.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - 20:29

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