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IndiaIndia rejects Pak objections, Work on Tulbul navigation project in full swing

India rejects Pak objections, Work on Tulbul navigation project in full swing


NL Correspondent

SRINAGAR: Despite Pakistan's opposition, government has decided to go ahead with the construction work of the Tulbul navigation project or Wular barrage which is in full swing these days.

In the aftermath of the Uri attack for which has blamed Pakistan, the centre has been considering to revive the IWT and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reportedly said that “water and blood can't flow at the same time”.

At the same time, the Tulbul navigation project or Wular barrage has assumed significance as the construction work is in full swing there and over 60 percent work has been completed, official sources said.

“Despite Pakistan objections to the construction of Tulbul navigation project, the government of India has refused to stop the work. As there is escalating tension between India and Pakistan, we have been directed to complete the project at the earliest. It would take us less than one year to complete the project,” an official said, wishing not to be named. “The embankment of the Jhelum is almost completed and then work will be started on the gates.”

India started work on this project in 1984 and according to the original plan, the barrage was expected to be of 439-feet long and 40-feet wide, and would have a maximum storage capacity of 0.30 million acres feet of water.

Work was stopped in 1987 following Pakistan's claim that it violated the Bank-brokered 1960 IWT.

India has said the Wular barrage was not in violation of the treaty and would be used to make the river navigable from Anantnag to Baramulla via Srinagar throughout the year.

Pakistan believed that Indian control over the Jheulm had the potential to disrupt its triple canal project — Upper Jhelum Canal, Upper Chenab Canal and Lower Bari Doab Canal. The construction site came under militant attack on August 28, 2012, as gunmen beat up workers and lobbed grenades at the construction site.

Various senior officials when contacted said the issue falls within the domain of union water resources ministry and refused to comment. “There is IWT between India and Pakistan so it won't be appropriate for me to comment on it,” a senior official of irrigation and flood control department said.

Central government has also sought a detailed report from J&K to suggest ways and means for maximum exploitation of water of three large western rivers falling under the World Bank-brokered 1960 IWT between the two countries.

The centre has asked the J&K Government to explain the scope of enhanced power generation and irrigation from these rivers which flow into Pakistan through the state.

The IWT was signed by late Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and late Pakistan president Ayub Khan in September 1960.

Under the treaty, India received exclusive rights of use of waters from the Indus and its eastward-flowing tributaries Ravi, Beas and Sutlej before they enter Pakistan, whereas Pakistan has rights to three large western rivers that first flow through J&K — Indus, Jhelum and Chenab.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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