JK Loses Rs 3500 Cr Annually To IWT

JK Loses Rs 3500 Cr Annually To IWT

12 June 2012
Rising Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: Choking the power generation potential of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) inflicts losses of more than Rs 3500 crore annually on the projects constructed on Chenab basin alone. Revealing the information, the government Tuesday said it has roped in an independent agency for assessing the losses incurred by the state on account of the strict provisions of IWT. Addressing the two-day hydro power convention at SKICC, Executive Director State Power Development Corporation (SPDC) Zahoor Ahmed Chat said due to the 1960 IWT, J&K is not able to go beyond a certain limit to produce more power. “Pakistan raises issues like height of dams, pondage and height of gates. Despite the fact that experts clear the doubts, Pakistan raises same points time and again leading to delay in execution of the projects,” he said. Chat said Baglihar power project incurs losses to the tune of Rs 250 crore annually due to IWT while the losses incurred on other projects of Chenab basin is to the tune of Rs 3325 crore. “Our designs have to be first approved by Pakistan and only then we can make changes to the existing project or construct new project,” he said, adding that all major power projects were on river Chenab - Baglihar, Salal and Dulhasti. Managing Director SPDC, Basharat Ahmed Dhar said the government has invited an independent agency to work out the total losses suffered by J&K due to IWT. “We hope the process will start soon,” he said. Executive Director SPDC said due to the treaty, J&K can’t store the water it wishes. “We have good precipitation during winters, but we can’t store the water,” he said. Speaking on the occasion, Deputy General Manager SPDC, Iftikhar Kakroo said they were planning to revive the first power project of Kashmir- 9 MW Mohra in Uri area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. “It will be built as a heritage project,” he said. Kakroo said there was also a need to re-assess J&K’s power potential. “Though it is said that we have a potential of 20,000 MWs, but we believe it is more. For instance in the case of Baglihar it was assumed that it would fetch only 450 MWs, but it went up to 950 MWs. There are many such instances,” he said. Given this, Kakroo said, there was a need to re-assess the exact hydel power potential of J&K. As for the challenges, Kakroo said clearance from Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and Central Water Commission (CWC), environment clearances, geological challenges and project execution were major roadblocks for the project execution. Meanwhile, talking to Rising Kashmir, Secretary General of India Tech Foundation (ITF), Ashish Sharma said they were very much satisfied with the response to the two-day event organized by them. “At least 200 delegates and representatives of 42 top notch companies participated in the event. Though we were expecting more players from foreign countries like Pakistan and Nepal, but they did not turn up,” he said. “But still the message has gone well that Kashmir was ready to see the outside investment and ready to host people willing to invest in hydro power,” Sharma added.