India rejects Pakistan’s demand for Chenab flow compensation

October 25th, 2008 - 1:07 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Oct 24 (IANS) Reiterating its commitment to the Indus Waters Treaty, India Friday rejected Pakistan’s demand for compensation due to the alleged blockage of the Chenab river water flow as the two countries ended two-day talks on the issue.As the Indus Water Commissioners of the two countries met here, the India side furnished hydrological data related to outflow of water in river Chenab to counter Pakistan’s charge that India was blocking the river flow to its side after construction of the Baglihar dam in Jammu and Kashmir, reliable sources said.

The two-day talks between India’s Indus Water Commissioner G. Ranganathan and his Pakistani counterpart Syed Jamaat Ali Shah ended here on an inconclusive note. The two sides, however, decided to carry forward their discussions.

The Pakistani side insisted that India released only 35,000 cusecs of water instead of 55,000 cusecs and demanded a hefty compensation for damage of karif crops.

India rejected Pakistan’s demand and provided detailed data to prove that it has not violated the 1960 Indus Water Treaty. New Delhi also reiterated that it will abide by the letter and spirit of the Indus treaty, but will not agree to anything beyond that.

Shah told reporters that Pakistan projected its point of view on water reduction at Head Marala and the loss of 0.2 million acre feet of water, but differences remained there.

According to Shah, India will collect more data on reduction of water flow due to filling of the Baglihar dam recently.

India has suggested that its Indus Water Commissioner Ranganathan will soon visit Head Marala on Chenab river in Pakistan to ascertain the level of water flow, Shah said.

Pakistan has agreed to it, he said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said Oct 10 while inaugurating the 450 MW Baglihar hydel project built over the Chenab river, that India has taken care to address Pakistan’s “justified concerns” while building it.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari had raised the Chenab water issue with Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month.

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