Pak now objecting to Nimoo project on Indus

The Nimoo-Bazgo project is being built in the Leh region of Jammu and Kashmir.

Islamabad: Emboldened by the International Court of Justice`s interim ruling in the Kishenganga project, Pakistan now plans to take the Nimoo-Bazgo hydropower project being built by India on the Indus river to the world court, according to media reports.

Pakistan wants to raise objections to the project, saying it allegedly violates the Indus Waters Treaty, the reports said.

But the Pakistani authorities have cleared their objections to the Chutak hydropower project on the same river, claiming that India has "made holes in the wall of the poundage" in line with a request from Islamabad to ensure that the flow water is not stopped.

The decision to approach the ICJ on the Nimoo-Bazgo project was made after Pakistani officials made their first visit to the project site and concluded it was allegedly in "total violation" of the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960, a senior unnamed member of Pakistan`s Indus Waters Commission told the media.

There was no official word on the development and the spokesman of the Water and Power Ministry was not available for comment.

The Pakistani delegation that visited the Nimoo-Bazgo and Chutak projects has submitted its report to the Water and Power Ministry for further action.

The unnamed official claimed India would be able to complete the Nimoo-Bazgo project by July 2012 and thus "suffocate" the water flow in the Indus.

The design of its gated spillways and the depth of the dam allegedly breaches the Indus Waters Treaty. The Pakistani side has raised five objections to the design of the project.

The Nimoo-Bazgo project is being built in the Leh region of Jammu and Kashmir.

India and Pakistan have been unable to resolve their differences on the project in several recent rounds of talks. The Chutak project is being built on the Suru, a tributary of the Indus river in the Kargil region of Jammu and Kashmir.

India received approval of carbon credits amounting to over USD 480,000 over seven years from the UN for the Nimoo-Bazgo and Chutak projects after getting clearance on the trans-boundary environmental impact assessment from Pakistan.

The Water and Power Ministry has also launched a probe to ascertain how India was able to begin work on the two projects without Pakistan’s Indus Waters Commission taking any steps to halt them.

Pakistan took up the Kishanganga hydropower project with the International Court of Arbitration, which recently ruled that India could "continue with all works" on the project in Jammu and Kashmir except any permanent work on the riverbed that may inhibit restoration of the river’s full flow after the court gives its final verdict in 2012 or 2013.


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