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Less water flow from India cuts power capacity by 1,000MW

No doubt the water flows in Chenab and Jhelum have been affected over the years because of construction of hydropower projects, he added.

India is currently building 17 hydropower projects on the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum rivers and denies allegations of stealing water. It attributes decrease in flows to low rainfall in Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, the watershed of the rivers. To authenticate its argument the Indian government has shared the data of two important gauge stations of the Chenab River, showing the magnitude of reduction in the quantity of water.

According to the Indian data, the water flows in the Chenab river above Marala was at 48,242 cusecs per day and 14,313 cusecs at Udaipur in 1999. It came down to 22,991 cusecs above Marala and 8,271 cusecs above Udaipur in 2008. Similarly, the situation in the Jhelum river was also not very different. In 1997, the water flows in the river were at 8.29 MAF, tumbling to 5.67 MAF in 2008. These rivers were once known as the symbol of consistency and steady flow. Now, they get almost dry in the lean period and swell in case of heavy downpour in the catchment area, causing flash floods in the downstream, which creates another hazard for Pakistan.

Hydroelectricity generation in Pakistan has been the worst victim of fall in flows, translating into erosion of 1,000mw at hydropower station at Mangla dam, the 16th largest dam in the world, situated at the Jhelum river.

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