Pakistan to seek compensation for Baglihar dam

November 12th, 2008 - 10:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Nov 12 (IANS) Pakistan said Wednesday that it will seek compensation from India over the shortage of water due to the construction of the Baglihar dam on the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir.In a statement in parliament Wednesday, Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that the compensation will be in the shape of water as the flow has reduced from 55,000 cusecs to 22,000 cusecs at Head Marala, the first point in Pakistan where the water flow from India is measured in the Chenab River.

Pakistan has for long been objecting to the Baglihar dam. Last month a three-member Pakistani delegation headed by Indus Water Commissioner Syed Jamaat Ali Shah inspected the dam in the Jammu region and collected data on water inflow, outflow and storage capacity of the dam.

Shah said that according to the Indus Water Treaty, 55,000 cusecs of water should flow into Pakistan but had only received 22,200 cusecs.

“India had filled the Baglihar dam reservoir in 10 days instead of in 60 to 70, causing water shortage in the Chenab River and this is continuing,” Shah told IANS.

The minister’s statement in parliament was in response to a question on the water dispute with India. Ashraf said India can construct the dam on its side but is also responsible for ensuring that water discharge at Head Marala remains at 55,000 cusecs.

The government, he added, was very much alive to the situation arising out of the construction of dam and had taken it up at every level.

He said that President Asif Zardari took up this issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New York when they met in September this year on sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.

He said Manmohan Singh had assured Zardari that Pakistan will not be denied of its rights. At the same time, Pakistan was continuously facing a water shortage.

“We are daily recording the water flow at Head Marala and our officials are reporting it to India as well,” the minister said.

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