J&K Says No To Pak's Compensation Claims Over Indus Treaty

1 June 2009
The Indian Express

Jammu: With the Indus Water Commission meeting in New Delhi on Monday to discuss the compensation demanded by Pakistan for the damage to its crops in view of the obstruction in flow of the river Chenab due to filling of water in Baglihar dam, Jammu and Kashmir government said that there was no point in compensating the neighbouring country as it has not violated the Indus water treaty. Jammu and Kashmir's Power Secretrary Sundeep Nayak said, “we have not violated the Indus water treaty so there was no point in compensating Pakistan for damages claimed by it.” He said that the construction of the Baglihar power project was in accordance with the Indus water treaty agreement and there was no violation of the World Bank brokered treaty. “Pakistan had earlier also raised objections but the World Bank gave its decision in our favour. It had earlier raised objections that the dam height was obstructing the flow of water to the neighbouring country.” However this time Pakistan has demanded that it should be compensated for the crop loss for choking the flow of Chenab water into the country. The three day long meeting of the Indus Water Commission is being held in New Delhi to discuss the issue and is the first such meeting between India and Pakistan after the Mumbai terror attacks. Power Secretrary Sundeep Nayak said “We have the same dam for both the phases of Baglihar power project and Pakistan government and there is no point that the dam is choking the flow of Chenab. Our representative is attending the meeting of Indus water commission tomorrow and we will present our case before it.” Officials said that the objections by Pakistan earlier on the first phase of Baglihar power project escalated its construction cost. They add that the construction cost of the first phase of the Baglihar power project escalated from its initial cost of Rs 1000 crore, when the project was conceived in 1992, to Rs 4000 crore. However officials say despite Pakistan's objections, they have started the geological survey for carrying out the construction of second phase of the Baglihar power project. State's Power Development Corporation (PDC) has asked the Jai Prakash Industries to complete the geological survey for the project by the end of this year. Government has also started the tunnelling work of the project and half of the tunnelling work for the total of 150 mw has also been done.