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Pak objections to Kishanganga projects fails to cut ice in J&K

Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday said Pakistani objection will not hamper the work on the 330 megawatt Kishanganga power project in Gurez area of Bandipora district in north Kashmir.

“We fail to understand what Pakistan is up to. Last month a team of Indian and Pakistani Indus water commission had visited along with the court of arbitration. They inspected the project thoroughly to prepare a report”, said Basharat Ahmad Dhar, power commissioner J&K.

The Rs. 3642.04 Crores project is scheduled to be completed by 2015. The work on this project had started in 1992 but due to financial problems it had to stop for some time. But now the work is going on this project without any hassles.

“Work is going-on on the project without any hassles. Pakistan had knocked at the doors of World Bank for Baghlar power project as well but it could not stop the work on the project”, said Dhar

Constructed by the National Hydel Power Corporation (NHPC) at Gurez, close to LoC, the 330 MW Kishanganga hydro electric project has remained dogged in controversies. Pakistan wanted it should not come up, the militancy added to the indecision of the authorities here and worst it was fiercely opposed by a unique tribe whose survival and that of their equally awesome sanctuary was at stake.

Located on river Kishanganga, a tributary of river Jhelum, the project according to NHPC, involves construction of a 37m high concrete faced rock fill dam and a underground powerhouse.

“A maximum gross head of 697 m is proposed to be utilized to generate 1350 Million units of energy, in a 90% dependable year with an installed capacity of 3x110 MW”, the NHPC postings on its website said.

Pakistan believes that the project would divert the water of the Jhelum River, which they say is violation of Indus Water Treaty.

Under the 1960 Indus Water Treaty, New Delhi has given up its claim about water usage of three western rivers - Jhelum, Chenab and Indus (all flowing from Jammu and Kashmir) to Pakistan in lieu of three eastern rivers - Satluj, Beas and Ravi. The treaty prevents the storage of the water otherwise owned by the state.

“The project does not violate any clause of the Indus Water Treaty. We are only using 10 per cent of the water for the Kishanganga project and it does not violate the treaty”, said a top official involved with the project construction.