March 2005 News

Baglihar: Pakistan focussing on technical violations

9 March 2005
The Dawn
Anwar Iqbal

Washington DC: Pakistan's response to India's queries about its stance on the Baglihar dam issue focuses on technical violations of the Indus Water Treaty, diplomatic sources told Dawn. They said Pakistan had pointed out that under the treaty, the waters of the eastern rivers of the Indus basin had been allocated to India and those of the western rivers, to Pakistan. The average annual flow of waters in the eastern rivers is estimated to be around 33 million acre feet (MAF) whereas it is 135 MAF in the western rivers. Pakistan says that the dam's height, 144.5 meters of 474.8 feet, will interfere with the flow of water to Pakistan. The dam's bondage capacity, 37.722 million cubic meters of water, is twice the allowed bondage under the treaty. Intake for the turbine for the plant is not located at the height consistent with provisions of the treaty. According to the complaint, Pakistan has submitted to the World Bank that these are clear violations of paragraph 8 (F) of annexure D to the treaty. Pakistan contends that the dam would lead to a reduction in the downstream flow of water in the Indus as River Chenab is one of the important water sources for Indus. Pakistan says that the dam would increase India's storage capacity to 164,000 acre feet, which is much higher than that allowed under the treaty. The dam will also allow India to control the flow of water to Pakistan's disadvantage.


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