Indian dam to harm Neelum-Jhelum project

ISLAMABAD - The Senate was informed Thursday that construction of Kishanganga project by India in occupied Kashmir will result in a shortfall of about 14 percent flow for Pakistan’s Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project.
Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on behalf of water and power minister, told the House that the Indian project will result in reduction of energy generation of Pakistan’s hydroelectric project by 13 percent or 700 million units.
Abbasi said India is constructing the Kishenganga project in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The gross capacity of the reservoir is 18.80 million Cubic Meter or 14,900 acre feet with dead storage of 8755 acre feet and an operating poll of 6120 acre feet. He said the water of river Kishenganga is to be diverted through a 23km long tunnel to produce 330mw powers. He said that the water after production of power would join the Wullar Lake and ultimately flow down through Jhelum to Muzaffarabad.
To a question, the minister said that International Court of Arbitration would announce verdict on Kishenganga Hydroelectric project by the end of current month. He informed that India was allowed to construct Run-of-River hydroelectric plants and limited storage works on the Western Rivers (Indus Jhelum and Chenab) within the limits of design criteria provided in the relevant provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960.
The minister said that all dams constructed by India on Pakistan’s Western Rivers so for are Run-of-River Hydroelectric plants which do not involve any consumption of water therefore no reduction in flow coming to Pakistan has been noticed or likely to occur on account of the dams constructed for hydropower generation. He said that India is bound to provide detailed information and design data regarding the proposed projects.
Abbasi also informed the Senate that Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project is constrained by international sanctions, hoping that work on the project would start soon after softening of the sanctions. To a question during the Question Hour, he said that Iran has cancelled a planned $500 million loan to Pakistan to construct a part of the pipeline. He said that half of the work on the project has been completed, adding that China has not made any offer to finance this project. “Pakistan needs the project and wants to complete it,” he added.
Responding to yet another question, the minister said over 2.48 million barrels of oil was produced in the country in October this year. Of this, 1.16 million barrels was produced in Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa. The petroleum minister said a total of 29 cities have been provided natural gas by SNGPL and SSGPL since 2010. He assured that PML-N government would make serious efforts to provide gas to cities of Balochistan.
PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Senate Mian Raza Rabbani said that prime minister is violating constitution by not attending the Upper House. Speaking on a point of order, he said that since assumption of his office, the PM has not attended the Senate even for once which is sheer violation of the constitution under the 18th amendment.
Rabbani recalled that despite several requests by the members, the prime minister has not paid heed to their pleas, urging the government to shun this attitude and give due importance to the parliament which is the prime source of government’s strength. Senator Rabbani was of the view that attitude of the prime minister and his government suggests that they have little regard for the democracy in the country.
Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq rejected Mr Rabbani’s contention saying the prime minister and the PML-N give due importance to the democratic system in the country and he would definitely attend the House but at the time he was preoccupied with other matters of the national importance.
The House also unanimously approved an amendment in Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business 2012 to form a Functional Committee on Human Rights. The motion was moved by Senator Raza Rabbani for amendments in Rules 158 and 161 to form a functional committee on Human Rights.
In addition, the House debated a motion on the current political and security situation in the country with particular reference to Balochistan, Fata and Rawalpindi incidents. Three senators belonging to PPP, ANP and an independent lawmaker shared their views on the motion for 39 minutes. Senator Abbas Khan Afridi from Fata and Zahid Khan from ANP sought a special development package for Fata saying that unless tribesmen were happy, no military action against militants would succeed. They were of the view that since Fata has suffered the most in the course of war against terror, it deserves a special package.
Senator Afridi said that proper attention should be given to Fata and KPK as without their support important national security targets could not be achieved.
He said that the bureaucracy always ignored the people of Fata, adding that the people who migrated and left their houses should be provided relief to settle them as it is responsibility of the state. He said that there is no check and balance on foreign funding of NGOs. He said Fata people are loyal to Pakistan and they always contributed to the development of the country but they were always deprived of their rights.
Senator Zahid Khan said that foreign funding should be monitored with transparent mechanism to provide relief to the people of KPK and Fata. He said that terrorism affected the whole country but Fata and KPK were in the fore front against war on terrorism. He said dialogue should start when all parties have already given the mandate to government. He said that forces should not be deployed in Fata without consent of the local people. He said that prime minister should come into the parliament to brief the House regarding different issues.
Senator Saeed Ghani said that specific class is being given relief and common people suffered with the policies of government. He said that inflation was increased during the tenure of present government and added that prices of commodities also increased which affected poor. He said that government is planning to dismiss officials from different departments and also formed a committee for it, which should be not be done. The House was adjourned until Friday.

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