Pakistan-India water talks badly fail

SAFDAR RASHEED

LAHORE (March 31 2010): Pakistani and Indian officials badly failed to iron out differences over the water disputes on third and final day of the talks here on Tuesday. Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah said, “If India fails to resolve our reservations regarding the Nimoo Baazgo hydro power project we will go to International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The officials of both sides also failed to end differences over the design criteria of the Nimoo Bazgo power project. Indian Indus Water Commissioner Aranga Nathan said that Pakistan’s objections over Indian proposed water projects hade no solid grounds. They were talking to media persons here on Tuesday after having a final round of dialogue over the water sharing disputes here on Tuesday at a hotel.

Aranga Nathan, however, said that Pakistan’s objections could be discussed in the next round of talks .The two sides agreed to meet in New Delhi in May to discuss water disputes in detail. He said that India was not stealing Pakistan’s share of river water. “Neither India is stealing water nor intends to barren agriculture sector of Pakistan” he added. Pak and Indian water officials might take up the Chutak power plant after talks over Nimoo Bazgo power project.

Jaamat Ali and his counterpart expressed resolve to implement the Indus Basin Water Treaty in letter and spirit. Indian Indus Commissioner said that his country was committed to the treaty, and designed all power projects by following the criteria permitted in it.

An official of Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner office told Business Recorder: “The Indian side has designed the entire project on maximum projected figures regarding water and flood flows.” He said that it wanted to maximise freeboard (free space above lake level), fix spillways on the lowest possible point and the flushing outlet at the highest point. These factors, if allowed, would give India a massive space to manipulate water flows. Jamaat Ali Shah said that India must take actual river flow figures, compute them, and adjust the design. Accordingly so that, chances of manipulating water flows could be minimised.
Courtesy BR

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