Water rights: New Indo-Pak power plant dispute rearing head

India unwilling to share information with Pakistan over Pakal Dul project.


Zafar Bhutta December 30, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


India’s unwillingness to share information with Pakistan on a major power project it plans to construct on River Chenab, may cause a legal battle between the neighbouring countries.


India has already decided to invite global tenders for the 1,000 megawatt Pakal Dul project, but has denied information to Pakistan, in what could possibly lead to a controversy similar to the one over the Baglihar Dam.

Baglihar Dam was constructed by India with a 450-mw power generation capacity on River Chenab. The Baglihar-2 power plant of the same capacity is also currently under construction.

Pakistan had challenged the construction of Baglihar Dam by India before neutral experts but the decision went against it.

“The Pakal Dul project is even bigger than Baglihar Dam and may deprive Pak­istan of  its share of water,” said a senior official of the Ministry of Water and Power while choosing to stay anonymous.

Pakistan first received information about the project in 2001 and sent several letters to India asking them to share information.

“The latest reminder was sent to India in October 2011,” the official said, adding that the Indian government responded by saying it would give Pakistan the relevant information after receiving it from authorities concerned.

According to reports, India has decided to invite global tenders for the construction of Pakal Dul power project in the Jammu region.

It is one of three major power projects to be constructed by the State Power Development Corporation, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation and Power Trading Corporation of India in a joint venture under the Chenab Valley Power projects Private limited (CVPPPL).

Chairman, Board of Directors CVPPPL, M Y Khan confirmed to local media in Kashmir on August 18, 2011 that they would invite global tenders for the project.

According to Khan, Pakal Dul is a reservoir-based scheme to be set up on the Marusudar River of the Chenab basin, in Kishtwar district.

The other two projects to be constructed under CVPPPL include Kiru (600mw) and Kawar (520mw).

Pakal Dul is scheduled for completion by the next six years and is targeted to start power generation by 2018, whereas the completion target for Kiru and Kawar are four to five years.

According to a list compiled by the Permanent Indus Waters Commission (PIWC), India has completed the construction of six hydro-power plants on River Chenab, which include 450mw Baglihar and 690mw Salal (1 and 2).

India plans to contruct 56 more hydro-projects on the River Chenab. These include some major projects like the 1,200mw Sawalkot (1 and 2), 715mw Seli, 1020mw Bursar 1 and 2 and 690 MW Rattle 1 and 2.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2011.

COMMENTS (13)

GAM | 10 years ago | Reply

@Trace Main: So sorry man, you missed the sarcasm in my reply! :-)

Trace Main | 10 years ago | Reply

@Powerbaj: Electricity (power) is created (not extracted) from the downward force of water flow as it moves from a higher elevation to a lower one. This power potential exists only where there is sufficient change in elevation, best achieved naturally, but also possible to some degree through the use of dam technology. Regardless, power is not being stolen from the water. There are many possibilities for Pakistan to harness the same energy. Please do a little reading about physics, these issues, and this technology before making such ignorant statements and calls for jihad.

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