India’s PM to visit Srinagar, Jammu on Nov 7

SRINAGAR:India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Srinagar – the summer capital of the Indian-held Jammu Kashmir – on November 7, the Indo-Asian News Service reported.Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed informed his ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) during a convention. During his day-long stay in the disputed state, the Indian prime minister will address a public rally in Srinagar.The news service reported that Prime Minister Modi would also inaugurate phase-two of the Baglihar hydroelectric power project on the River Chenab in the southern Doda district. After construction started in 1999, Pakistan pointed out that design parameters of the Baglihar project violated the Indus Water Treaty of 1960.

In the case of Baglihar and Kishanganga hydroelectric plants, Pakistan stated that some design parameters were too lax than were needed for feasible power generation and provided India with excessive ability to accelerate, decelerate or block flow of the river, thus giving India a strategic leverage in times of political tension or war.

After failure of several rounds of talks on the design of the projects on January 18, 2005, Pakistan raised six objections to the World Bank, a broker and signatory of the Indus Water Treaty. In May 2005, the World Bank appointed Swiss civil engineer Professor Raymond Lafitte to adjudicate the difference.

In his final verdict on February 12, 2007, the foreign engineer upheld Pakistan’s objections, declaring that pondage capacity be reduced by 13.5%, height of dam structure be reduced by 1.5 metre and power intake tunnels be raised by three meters, thereby limiting some flow control capabilities of the earlier design. In 2010, Pakistan and India resolved the issue relating to the initial filling of the Baglihar Dam in the disputed state with Islamabad deciding not to raise the matter further.


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