Indo-Pak Talks On Chenab Water Controversy Begin
23 October 2008
: Indus Water Commissioners of India and Pakistan met here today in the backdrop of Islamabad's allegations that New Delhi had blocked Chenab river water flow affecting cultivation in that country. In the two-day talks which began this morning, Pakistan is expected to seek compensation for the alleged blockage.Indus Water Commissioner G Ranganathan and his Pakistani counterpart Syed Jamaat Ali Shah will discuss ways in which such controversies could be averted. Pakistan has alleged that India had blocked flow of Chenab river water to fill the dam for the recently commissioned Baglihar power project in Jammu and Kashmir and claimed that it had affected cultivation in that country. India has rejected the charge and said there was no deliberate act on its part and that the flow was less because of low availability of water in the river. Shah and his delegation visited Baglihar project on Monday for an on-the-spot assessment of the water situation. Sources said the Pakistani side is expected to seek compensation for low water flow. The Pakistani side says there was an understanding between the two countries that the dam would be filled between June 21 and August 21, when monsoon would have been at its peak. This, however, did not happen as Baglihar project got delayed and the dam could be filled only after August 19 when the monsoon season was towards its end, according to it. Pakistan says it should get at least 55,000 cusecs of water but was only getting 30,000 to 35,000 cusecs on an average.