India approves diversion of Pak Chenab River

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New Delhi’s move will cause AJ&K land become barren

Zeeshan Javaid

Islamabad—The managers of energy and foreign affairs, despite performing their prior duties, put their all energies to protect their personal interests, as it is witnessed that both departments are yet to respond to the recent move made by the Indian government giving official approval of diverting the water of Chenab into Indian Bias River.
According to the document available with Pakistan Observer the Indian water aggression to make Pakistan barren as the chief executive of Indian government has directed the Indian ministry dealing with energy affairs to divert the water of Chenab into Indian Bias River, a sheer violation of Indus Water Treaty 1960.
Sources privy to the development informed this scribe that the office of Indus Water Commissioner Pakistan (IWCP) recently contacted with its counterpart manager in New Dehli and recorded the protest about the recent move made by the Indian government.
The document disclosed that a high-level meeting of the special committee of interlinking river comprising the Indian energy and water managers and experts as well led by Chairperson Sushri Uma Bharti, Minister of Water Resources held in Delhi on April 5, 2016 to discuss the matters of interlinking rivers including the rivers share of Pakistan’s Sindh, Chenab and Jehlum as per the Indus Water Treaty 1960.
The minutes of the meeting possessed by this scribe reveal that the Indian government has decided to divert the water of Chenab into Bias River, which according to Pakistani water experts will cause major part of land in Pakistan near Azad Kashmir and its vicinity to become barren.
The document further reveals that the Indian government took this decision to protect the Indian state of Himachal Perdesh from upcoming drought and to facilitate the controversial water reservoir Gypsa Dam, Himachal Perdesh project located on the bed of Chenab River, a sheer violation of IWT 1960.
A senior official of Indus Water Commissioner Pakistan (IWCP) office on condition of anonymity informed that the said office repeatedly contacted the wing of the ministry of water and power and also concerned quarters of foreign affairs, when the Indian government was going to pass the bill of interlinking rivers. However, no concrete step was taken by the concerned authorities.
The daily “Pakistan Observer” on March 17, 2015 published the story of the Indian move to interlink the rivers originating from India, which will directly affect Pakistan, however, the authorities concerned, despite taking notice of this serious issues, remains calm to consider it a routine matter.
The non-serious attitude of one of the most important cabinet organs Ministry of Water and Power paved the way for its eastern neighbour India for stronger water aggression, who has legitimated its aggression and approved full control on all water resources including the western rivers of Pakistan, Jhelum and Chenab in violation of Indus Water Treaty 1960.
Already Pakistan and India both knocked the door of Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) twice over the two different controversial issues including 900MW Baglihar hydropower project on the western river Chenab and 330MW Kishanganga Hydropower Project (KGHP) on river Jhelum, however, the Indian government drafted a plan to construct 150 run-of-river hydropower power plants on western rivers of which 47 projects are above the generation capacity of 50MW.
A list compiled by Pakistan Indus Water Commissioner’s (PIWC) office revealed that India had constructed 41 hydropower projects and 12 hydropower plants were under construction, in addition to the 155 projects planned on the Western Rivers. India has completed the construction of 6 hydropower plants on River Chenab, including 450-MW Baglihar 1 and 690-MW Salal 2. Construction on two projects was under way, including the 450-MW Baglihar 2 and 15MW Ranja-Ala-Dunadi.
Furthermore, India has planned an additional 56 hydropower projects on River Chenab, including some big projects such as the 1200-MW Sawalkot (1 and 2), 715-MW Seli, 1000-MW Pakaldul (1 and 2), 1020-MW Bursar (1 and 2), 690-MW Rattle (1 and 2) and 600-MW Kiru.
India has completed 15 projects on River Jhelum, including the 480-MW Uri-1, 105-MW Lower Jhelum and 105-MW Upper Sindh.
Six projects are under construction, including the 240-MW Uri 2 and 330-MW Kishanganga. India also plans to initiate 74 projects on River Jhelum, including a few big projects such as the 165MW Sonamarg Storage, 100MW Gangabal Storage and 280MW multipurpose Ujh Storage.

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