Indian dam will affect Neelum-Jhelum project: Pakistan

Islamabad, Dec 20: The construction of the Kishanganga project by India in Jammu and Kashmir will result in 14 percent decrease in the flow of water for Pakistan’s Neelum-Jhelum hydroelectric project, the Pakistan Senate was informed.

Pakistan’s Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on behalf of water and power minister, told the senate Thursday that the Indian project would reduce energy generation of Pakistan’s hydroelectric project by 13 percent or 700 million units, The Nation reported Friday.

Abbasi said India was constructing the Kishanganga hydroelectric project in Jammu and Kashmir. The gross capacity of the reservoir is 18.80 million cubic metres or 14,900 acre feet with dead storage of 8,755 acre feet.

He said the water of river Kishanganga is to be diverted through a 23-km-long tunnel to produce 330 megawatts of power.

He said the water would join the Wullar Lake after power generation and ultimately flow down through the Jhelum river to Muzaffarabad.

The petroleum and natural resources minister said the International Court of Arbitration would announce its verdict on the Kishanganga hydroelectric project by the end of December.

He added that India was allowed to construct run-of-river hydroelectric plants and limited storage works on the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab rivers within the limits of design criteria provided in the relevant provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960.

The minister said all the dams constructed by India on Pakistan’s rivers like Indus, Jhelum and Chenab so far are run-of-river hydroelectric plants, which do not involve any consumption of water and, therefore, no reduction in flow of water coming to Pakistan has been noticed or was likely to occur on account of the dams constructed for hydropower generation.

He said India was bound to provide detailed information and design data regarding the proposed projects.

In February this year, the International Court of Arbitration at The Hague ruled in favour of India’s position on the diversion of Kishanganga water, setting aside objections by Pakistan that had halted work on the 330 megawatt Kishanganga hydel project in Jammu and Kashmir.

Islamabad took New Delhi to the court of arbitration in 2010, disrupting Indian plans to divert water from the Kishanganga into the Bona Madmati Nallah. Islamabad said the diversion violated provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960, a claim that India refuted.