Pak At Loggerheads With India On Kishanganga Project

Pak At Loggerheads With India On Kishanganga Project

11 June 2012
Kashmir Observer


New Delhi: Union Water Resource Ministry officials Monday said Pakistan has locked horns over construction of Kishanganga project in north Kashmir’s Bandipore district, saying it would affect their environment badly. “Pakistan has raised objections and asked India to stop construction on Kishnagaga. They say eventually POK will suffer and then fishing industry of the country will also be badly affected due to this. But it is the duty countries involved in any dispute to come out with some alternatives and get going,” Union Water Resource Secretary, Dhruv Vijay Singh said during a formal interaction with experts and technocrats attending 2-day International Hydropower Convention at SKICC here. The neighboring country Pakistan has done environmental study from below Kishanganga up to Muzaffarabad. “They are saying the dam is a threat to the fish production, musk deer, and damage to tourism, sports fishing,” Singh said. He said on these grounds Pakistan has approached International Court of arbitration to stop Kishanganga construction. “There are many ground but this is the major ground for which they have got environmental study done by a major international company,” Singh said. However Singh said Kishanganga construction wasn’t going to be obstructed. “Pakistan is going to take us to the Court of Arbitration on every single dam. They have raised objections on Nimoo-Bazgoo project in Ladakh too -on different grounds,” Singh added. The 2-day International Hydropower Convention has been organized by India TECH Foundation (ITF). Meanwhile interestingly, the Union Secretary said that India has decided to respond positively to the Pakistan government demand for export of power to that country. “We will export 500 megawatt electricity to Pakistan. Pakistan has asked us for power and we are going to supply it,” he said. “We will sell it to the Pakistan at the international rates,” Singh said. Singh however said Pakistan was going to take India to the Court of Arbitration on each hydropower dam to be built in Jammu and Kashmir. Singh said not only J&K but Punjab government too wants that Indus Warder Treaty (IWT) should be scrapped. “In fact it is a view held by lot of Indians,” Singh said. “We have a treaty where nobody is satisfied.” He said the Treaty does not restrict hydropower generation in Kashmir on run-of-the-river pattern. About the hydropower potential of Jammu and Kashmir, he said that J&K has the huge potential of the hydropower potential and hoped most of it needed to be harnessed on priority basis. He also emphasized on all the state governments for taking these issues seriously for rapid Hydro power development in the country to overcome the growing needs of the conventional and non-conventional energy. He said that issues related to his Ministry would be looked into on priority to facilitate all those interested in developing hydropower in the country, particularly in the JK.