India, Pakistan resolve Baglihar dam issue

Published - June 01, 2010 11:39 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

India and Pakistan have resolved at the meeting of the Permanent Indus Water Commission here the issue of water flows in the Chenab river being affected during the initial filling of the Baglihar dam in 2008. Pakistan has decided not to raise the matter further.

However, the differences on the design of the 45 MW Nimoo Bazgo hydel project on the Indus river in Leh district remained at the end of the third day of talks here on Tuesday. The matter will be discussed further in the next round of talks to be held in Pakistan this or the next month.

“We have resolved the differences on the initial filling of the Baglihar dam (in Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir) in 2008 in a spirit of cooperation and goodwill,” Pakistan’s Indus Commissioner Jamait Ali Shah, who heads the country’s delegation, told The Hindu here in an interview.

He said Pakistan felt the procedures and parameters in the Indus Waters Treaty were not followed during the initial filling of the dam, resulting in reduction of flows in the Chenab near the Marala headworks. However, during the talks, “India gave the assurance that it will be careful in future and Pakistan has accepted that in spirit of cooperation and goodwill.”

Sources on the Indian side confirmed that the issue was resolved but asserted that the “filling of the Baglihar dam was in accordance with the treaty and the differences were on the manner in which the water flows were measured.”

Pakistan’s objections had come after a World Bank appointed expert had adjudicated on the dispute between India and Pakistan on the design of the run of the river dam.

On the Nimoo Bazgo project, Mr. Shah said his country had objections on six counts. “India said it would come back with requisite information after a week. We hope the matter is resolved amicably in the Commission.’’

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