Pakistan officials inspect Baglihar dam in Jammu and Kashmir

October 20th, 2008 - 7:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, Oct 20 (IANS) A Pakistani delegation Monday inspected the Baglihar power generation plant in Jammu and Kashmir 10 days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh commissioned the project in the power-starved state.The seven-member delegation of Pakistan’s Indus Water Commission inspected the water storage at the dam in the Ramban district alluding its fears that India had blocked the supply of regular water (23,000 cusecs a day) to Pakistan from the Chenab River last month while filling the dam. Pakistan alleged that the water blockade badly affected its share meant for agricultural crops.

Pakistan said it was a violation of the September 1960 Indus Water Treaty - a water-sharing agreement between the two countries signed by then Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and president of Pakistan Ayub Khan. The World Bank is a signatory as a third party.

According to the treaty, India has exclusive rights to use all of the waters of eastern rivers (the Sutlej, the Beas and the Ravi) and their tributaries before the point where the rivers enter Pakistan. Similarly, Pakistan has rights to use the waters of western rivers (the Indus, the Jhelum and Chenab - all in Jammu and Kashmir).

The team, led by secretary works Syed Jamait Ali Shah, arrived Sunday “to see if the water was being stored as permitted under the the treaty”.

Officials at the dam site Baglihar told IANS over telephone that the visiting team was taken around the project, where they inspected the storage of water.

The delegation will leave for Delhi Tuesday to discuss the matter with their Indian counterparts.

“We will put our views and data before New Delhi, and India is obliged to give us all the requisite information on it as per the treaty,” Shah said.

Commissioning the first phase of 450 MW of the Baglihar Hydro Electric project, Manmohan Singh said: “No provision of Indus water Treaty has been violated.”

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