Today's Paper

India rejects Pakistan’s demand for compensation

Gargi Parsai

NEW DELHI: India has rejected a demand from Pakistan officials for “compensation” for alleged “reduced flows” into the Chenab river after the first and one-time filling of the newly constructed Baglihar dam in Jammu and Kashmir, maintaining that the charge was “unsubstantiated.” The 450 MW hydroelectric project was commissioned in August last.

An Indian team of experts led by Commissioner (Indus) in the Water Resources Ministry G. Aranganathan that visited Pakistan for on the spot inspection held the view that there was discrepancy in the manner in which water flows were measured at Merala barrage on Chenab. The team returned here on Thursday after a three-day visit.

While the outflows were measured, there was no mechanism to measure inflows into Merala barrage. Pakistan has charged India with not maintaining an inflow of 55,000 cusecs at Marala, as is mandatory under the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960, during the initial filling of the Baglihar dam. The filling is a one-time event.

The Indian side was unable to inspect the records at Merala so as to verify the veracity of Pakistan claims with regard to water flows, according to sources.

According to the official sources, the data supplied to the Indian delegation was of the outflows, while there was no mechanism to measure inflows.

“The water level data was fluctuating and did not reflect the inflows at Merala,” the sources said.

During the period there was flooding in Ravi, which waters were used for irrigation in addition to the Chenab waters, the sources claimed.