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Baglihar dam ruling on Feb 12

India and Pakistan disagree over the construction of the Baglihar dam on the Chenab river.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2007, 11:50 IST
Arun Kumar (IANS)
Arun Kumar (IANS)

A World Bank appointed neutral expert will release his final ruling February 12 on a dispute between India and Pakistan over the construction of the Baglihar dam on the Chenab river.

The dispute over the 450 MW hydroelectric dam in south Kashmir involves water flows to Pakistan, which says the project violates a 1960 World Bank-brokered water-sharing treaty.

The Indus Waters Treaty divided the Indus river between the two countries and bars India from interfering with the flow into Pakistan but allows it to generate electricity.

The Chenab is one of the rivers comprising the Indus river system.

The expert, Raymond Lafitte, a Swiss national and professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, was appointed by the World Bank on April 20, 2005, to resolve differences between the countries regarding the Baglihar project.

"According to the provisions of the treaty, the decision of Lafitte on all matters within his competence is final and binding," the World Bank said in a statement here Thursday. Both sides have said they will abide by the outcome.

Lafitte will release his decision to representatives of the two governments February 12 in Bern, Switzerland and it was up to India and Pakistan to make it public, it said.

This is the first time since the treaty was concluded on September 19, 1960 that the provisions regarding the settlement of differences and disputes have been invoked.

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