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Govy eyes Baghliar project report

Baghliar power project will once again come into limelight with the much awaited report of the Swiss arbitrator Raymond Lafitte coming on February 12, reports Anil Anand.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2007 22:46 IST
Anil Anand

The contentious Baghliar power project will once again come into limelight with the much awaited report of the Swiss arbitrator Raymond Lafitte coming on February 12.

The project being constructed on river Chenab in J&K had become a bone of contention between India and Pakistan following protests by the latter on its construction.

The report of the World Bank sponsored arbitrator will be released in the USA on Monday evening.

It will be closely monitored in New Delhi by the Water Resources Ministry.

A control room has been set up in the Ministry where its top officials and experts will simultaneously monitor and analyse the report.

Accordingly, the UPA Government will formulate its response on the subject, Water Resources Minister Saif-ud-Din Soz said.

The independent Swiss arbitrator was appointed by the World Bank in May 2005. He visited the project in October same year.

The dispute arose after Islamabad had objected to the construction of the dam on the plea that it was in violation of the Indus Water Treaty and that the dam would deprive Pakistan of over 7000 cusecs of water per day. 

Under the Treaty India has exclusive rights on Sutlej, Ravi and Beas while Pakistan on Indus, Chenab and Jhelum.

Pak's contention was challenged by New Delhi. It was followed by series of meetings between the officials and experts of the two countries.

But without any result. Later, World Bank appointed an adjudicator to resolve the tangle.

In a related development the J&K government on Friday said the construction of the Baglihar project will be completed by December 31.

Power Minist Nawang Rigzim told the Legislative Council that Swiss arbitrator's final report on the 450 MW project will pave the way for its completion.

The Rs 3810 crore project was to be completed by December 31, 2004.

Email Anil Anand: aanand@hindustantimes.com