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Pakistan now objects to 250-Mw Uri hydel project

Gopal Sharma  |  Jammu 

After the controversy over the Chenab river in Ramban district, the Pakistan government has raised objections over the construction of a on Jhelum.
The work on this project has been undertaken by the and is supervising the project work.
The Pakistan authorities have objected that work on this power project was launched by the Indian government without taking clearance as required under the
This fresh controversy may create yet another roadblock to the J&K government's endeavour to utilise the full water potential of the state's rivers, with the objective to overcome the power crisis in the state. The state, at present, is reeling under more than 10-hour power curtailment per day.
Sources in the J&K power ministry indicated that a communiqué in this connection had been received recently and the Pakistan authorities had warned to seek World Bank's intervention if Indian authorities avoided to settle the dispute amicably.
The 450-Mw Baglihar power project passed through controversies and was delayed for more than two years due to objections raised by Pakistan.
NHPC's Salal hydel power project in Reasi over Chenab also met the same fate and was delayed for more than three years.
According to signed in 1960 between India and Pakistan, water of three western rivers in J&K namely Indus, Jhelum and Chenab would be allowed to flow down to Pakistan and a limit was fixed for its storage by J&K government while the water of three eastern rivers namely, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej in Punjab was allowed to be fully utilised by India.
J&K has been the worst hit with this controversial agreement and both the National Conference and the PDP have many times demanded to repeal the treaty as it was anti-J&K and was not signed taking the state government into confidence. The treaty has become the main hurdle in harnessing the full hydel power potential in the electricity-starved state.
The treaty was signed by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the then Pakistan President Field Marshal Ayub Khan.
It states that Pakistan shall receive unrestricted use of water from western rivers for which India is under obligation to let it flow without any major interference. It also lays various other conditions for undertaking river projects.

First Published: Thu, June 28 2007. 00:00 IST