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Indian dam to harm Neelum-Jhelum project

The Senate was informed Thursday that construction of Kishanganga project by India in occupied Kashmir will result in a shortfall of about 14 percent flow for Pakistan’s Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project.

Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on behalf of water and power minister, told the House that the Indian project will result in reduction of energy generation of Pakistan’s hydroelectric project by 13 percent or 700 million units.

Abbasi said India is constructing the Kishenganga project in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The gross capacity of the reservoir is 18.80 million Cubic Meter or 14,900 acre feet with dead storage of 8755 acre feet and an operating poll of 6120 acre feet. He said the water of river Kishenganga is to be diverted through a 23km long tunnel to produce 330mw powers. He said that the water after production of power would join the Wullar Lake and ultimately flow down through Jhelum to Muzaffarabad.

To a question, the minister said that International Court of Arbitration would announce verdict on Kishenganga Hydroelectric project by the end of current month. He informed that India was allowed to construct Run-of-River hydroelectric plants and limited storage works on the Western Rivers (Indus Jhelum and Chenab) within the limits of design criteria provided in the relevant provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960.

The minister said that all dams constructed by India on Pakistan’s Western Rivers so for are Run-of-River Hydroelectric plants which do not involve any consumption of water therefore no reduction in flow coming to Pakistan has been noticed or likely to occur on account of the dams constructed for hydropower generation. He said that India is bound to provide detailed information and design data regarding the proposed projects.

Abbasi also informed the Senate that Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project is constrained by international sanctions, hoping that work on the project would start soon after softening of the sanctions. To a question during the Question Hour, he said that Iran has cancelled a planned $500 million loan to Pakistan to construct a part of the pipeline. He said that half of the work on the project has been completed, adding that China has not made any offer to finance this project. “Pakistan needs the project and wants to complete it,” he added.

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