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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: drshabir
Full Name: dr shabir choudhry
User since: 5/Jun/2007
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Neelum Jhelum Hydroelectric Project - an environment disaster.

Dr Shabir Choudhry      26 June 2010

 

At a time when different provinces and politicians of Pakistan were arguing with each other whether to construct the Kala Bagh Dam or not, puppet leaders of Islamabad in Pakistani Administered Kashmir said: for sake of Pakistan we will build 100 dams in Azad Kashmir.

 

This shows mental attitude of these so called leaders and level of their slavish attitude, which is worse than Karzai of Afghanistan and Malaki of Iraq. The Kala Bagh Dam if built was to benefit Pakistan, and yet people of those areas had serious reservations. They opposed it tooth and nail, and got it cancelled; puppets of Pakistani Administered Kashmir welcome this kind of construction as they also get appropriate rewards; and for that if people of Pakistani Administered Kashmir suffer they don’t care.

 

Neelam Jhelum Hydroelectric Project is located near Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani Administered Kashmir. It aims to dig a tunnel and divert water of Neelam River from Nauseri, about 41 KM East of Muzzafrabad. A Powerhouse will be constructed at Chatter Kalas, 22 Km South of Muzaffarabad; and after passing through the turbines the water will be released in Jhelum River, about 4 Km South of Chatter Kalas. Once completed, the Neelam Jhelum Hydroelectric Project will produce 969 MW of electricity annually at the cost of US $2.16 billion.

 

This hydroelectric project was formally announced by former Minister Omar Ayub on 10 June 2007. WAPDA selected MWH, a global provider of environmental engineering, strategic consulting and construction services, to provide engineering and construction management services for the Neelam-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project.

 

It is a joint Venture led by MWH and consisting of MWH, Pakistani firms NESPAK, ACE and NDC, and Norwegian firm NORPLAN. The MWH will provide design, make construction drawing preparation and management construction services; and the project will be completed within eight years.

 
A concrete gravity dam 135 m long and 47 m high will be constructed on Neelam River at Nauseri. The dam is designed for over-topping. The dam will create a head pond of 8 million cubic meters which will allow a peaking reservoir of 2.08 million cubic meters to meet daily peaking of power for more than 4 hours. A six gate tunnel intake structure of 280 cumec capacity will be connected with three conventional flushing surface basins installed at their end for taking sediment back into river.

The total length of head race tunnel is 28.5 Km. A 15.1 Km stretch of the tunnel from the Nauseri be constructed as a twin tunnel system each with cross section of 42 Sq.m. The remaining head race tunnel down to the surge chamber will be a single tunnel having cross section of 82 Sq.m. The tunnels are shotcrete lined with a concrete invert. The tunnel crosses Jhelum River approximately 380 meters below its bed. The tunnel will be accessed by 7 Adits for removal of excavated spoil.


The Surge Chamber consist of 340 m high riser shaft and 820 m long surge tunnel, Four steel lined Penstock tunnels 150 m long and having 3.8 m internal diameter will also be constructed. The under ground power Station will have 4 units with a total capacity of 969 MW. The Power Station will be connected with Rawat Grid station (in Pakistan) through 500KV double circuit transmission line.

 

Salient features of the project

 

Overall Project Cost

Rs. 130 Billion  (US$ 2.16 billion)

Installed Capacity

969 MW Four Units @ 242 MW each

Dam  Type  

Concrete Gravity

Height / Length                   

47 / 135 Meters

Annual Energy          

5.150 Billion electricity Units

Average Head          

420 Meters

Design Discharge

280 Cumecs

Tunneling      

Two; each dia; 7.3 meter - 15 km,  One; dia; 9.6 meter-17Km,(Total 47 KM)

EIRR  

26%

Implementation Period    

8 Years

 

Project benefits as explained by WAPDA

 

  • Reduction of dependent on thermal power
  • Saving in foreign exchange
  • Employment opportunity during construction and operation
  • Improved standard of living infrastructure
  • Social-economic uplift of the area

 

Construction

 

  • Construction Contact was awarded, on July 07, 2007, to M/s CGGC-CMEC Consortium China for implementation of the project at a cost of Rs. 90.90 Billions.
  • Construction Agreement was signed on December 19, 2007. Letter of Commencement was issued on January 30, 2008.
  • Contractor has mobilized at Site. Preparatory works and construction of Contractor's camps at Nosadda & Chatter Kalas are in progress.

 

FINANCING

 

Government of Pakistan has approved financial arrangement for the project:

  • Established Neelam Jhelum Hydropower Company for project implementation
  • Imposition of surcharge at 10 Pisa per unit on power tariff for NJHEP fund providing for 50% fund requirement
  •  Balance equity to be arranged through loans and bonds etc.
  •  Revised PSDP (2007-2008) allocation of Rs.5700 Million.

 

LAND ACQUISITION

 

  • Project envisages acquisition of approx, 2400 kanals of private and State land in the project Area in Muzaffarabad District.
  • So far WAPDA has transferred Rs.705 Million to Govt. of AJ&K as provisional cost of the Notified Private and state land.
  • WAPDA has taken possession of 80% land; and arrangements are being made to acquire the remaining land. 15

 

Criticism on the project

 

    1. Like other projects conceived and completed by the WAPDA in Pakistani Administered Kashmir, this project is also designed to benefit Pakistan at the expense of the local people of Pakistani Administered Kashmir.

 

    1. Although the work has already started on the project, but as yet there is no written agreement between WAPDA and government of Pakistani Administered Kashmir. This shows what kind of role or influence government of Pakistani Administered Kashmir has over this matter; or any matter related to development, welfare of people and environment.

 

    1. Unlike WAPDA claims the project will not help the local people in any form or shape. The employment opportunities are for the people of Pakistan or foreign workers. So far only five jobs are given to the local people, which are: chefs, cleaners and watchmen.

 

    1. Majority of population lives in rural areas and their existence and life largely depends upon forestry, livestock and agriculture. River water and natural springs are main source for drinking and irrigation of land; and this diversion of river will have serious water shortage, which will make life miserable for the local people.

 

    1. The project will have very serious impact on environment of the area, as it plays a key role in the configuration of Himalayan ecosystem. Environmental groups have expressed their concerns about prospective environmental hazards on local economy and biodiversity.

 

    1. Ecologists say the project area has significant conservational importance due to abundant of forests, aquatics life and presence of many species of wild life, which have been declared endangered globally.

 

    1. The project will also have serious impact on the habitat of various rare species considered on the verge of extinction. Developmental activities in the area and other changes will surely have negative impact on the natural habitat of wildlife.

 

    1. Beauty of this area is enhanced by this river; and this diversion will have serious affect on wild life, weather and beauty of the area.

 

    1.  The river and the beauty of the area attract tourists and provide clean water to the local people and citizens of Muzaffarabad; and this diversion of water will deprive the area of clean water and reduce the Neelam River to ‘Nalah Lahi’ in Rawalpindi which has dirty water and creates enormous problems for the citizens.

 

    1. This project, once completed will benefit Pakistan, but local people will not benefit from it in any form or shape. There will be serious economic and environmental consequences for the local people; and their future generations will face very serious economic and environmental problems.

 

Indian hydro electric generation project on Neelam River (Kishen Ganga)

 

Interestingly India also plans to build a dam on the Neelam River which is known as Kishen Ganga on the Indian side of the divide. Indian plan is to divert water through a 21 KM long tunnel before it enters Pakistani Administered Kashmir; and release the water into Bonar Madumati Nullah -  a tributary of the Jhelum River. The diverted water would be used for generating electricity and feeding the Wullar Lake in the process.

 

In other words, after the completion of this project, the water of Neelam River or Kishen Ganga will join River Jhelum at Bandipore on the Indian side of LOC instead of its present convergence at Domel in Muzaffarabad, Pakistani Administered Kashmir.

 

Pakistan has serious objections to this project, as they feel this project will reduce flow of water in the Neelam River when it enters Pakistani Administered Kashmir; and it will have severe impact on their project - Neelam-Jhelum Hydro Electric Project. The government of Pakistan wishes to resolve this issue bilaterally, but there is also talk of invoking the arbitration process enshrined in the Indus Water Treaty of 1960.


Writer is Director Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs.To view other articles see my blog: www.drshabirchoudhry.blogspot.com

 


Dr Shabir Choudhry
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." -- George Orwell.

 Reply:   Exploitation of Kashmiri resources must stop
Replied by(drshabir) Replied on (6/Jul/2010)
Pak wrong policies forcing people to be pro India, said Kashmiri leaders in a seminar held in Luton, England.

Exploitation of Kashmiri resources must stop; Pak wrong policies forcing people to be pro India, said Kashmiri leaders in a seminar held in Luton, England.

05 July 2010

 

Written by Dr Shabir Choudhry

 

The seminar tilted Neelam Jhelum Hydroelectric Project was organised by Kashmir National Party in Luton on 4 July, in which Kashmiris and Pakistanis representing different view points took part. All the speakers expressed their serious concerns about the exploitation of natural resources of Jammu and Kashmir, and demanded that this process must stop.

 

The Kashmiri leaders said India and Pakistan while using our resources must keep in mind that these resources belong to people of Jammu and Kashmir. If people of Jammu and Kashmir do not benefit from the development projects then that would be considered as plundering and looting of our natural resources.

 

The seminar was chaired by Abbas Butt, who gave background details to the seminar and how Kashmiri resources were exploited. He said KNP is not anti Pakistan or anti India. We have always taken pro people and pro Kashmir actions, and feel proud that we are true nationalists who want to promote liberal and secular politics. We want to defend rights of people of Jammu and Kashmir and promote peace and better understanding among all the ethnic groups living in South Asia.

 

KNP Chairman said: we can choose friends but we cannot choose or change our geography. We all have to live in South Asia, and it is in the interest of all that we learn to live in peace and share our resources for the betterment of people of this region. If policy of loot and plunder continues that will prove disastrous not for only people of Jammu and Kashmir but also for the entire region, as it will provide oxygen to those forces who want to spread communalism, extremism and hatred.

 

Abbas Butt said, ‘We appreciate Pakistan’s water and energy requirements and want to help them in this regard as well; but they should learn to share resources and not to exploit us by behaving like an imperial power. They need to acknowledge that these resources belong to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and people of the area must benefit from this’.

 

Dr Shabir Choudhry in his keynote speech said, ‘Water is fundamental to human survival, and many countries have serious shortage of water and energy, yet demand is on increase. Lack of sufficient clean and useable freshwater has adverse impact on economy and prosperity of many countries. Because of this scarcity, water has taken a strategic role for many states; and could be cause of conflicts in future.’ He said many experts believe future wars will be fought over water.’   

He said, ‘Water is natural resources of Jammu and Kashmir, but it was India and Pakistan who decided how to use our water in Indus Water Treaty of 1960. We cannot even use water according to our wishes or requirements’. In order to appease his political masters, puppet Prime Minister of Pakistani Administered Kashmir, Sikandar Hayat told a seminar on March 6, 2003 “The freedom fighters of Kashmir are in reality fighting for Pakistan's water security and have prevented India from constructing a dam on the Wular Barrage.”

Dr Shabir Choudhry said: ‘In line with its past policies, Islamabad has started a mega project in its colony, known as Azad Kashmir. They did not even care to consult, get permission, or have a formal agreement with the rulers of this territory. Neelam Jhelum Hydroelectric Project is located near Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani Administered Kashmir, and it aims to dig a tunnel and divert water of Neelam River which will generate 969 MW of electricity annually’.

He said, ‘The project will benefit Pakistan, but local people will not benefit from it in any form or shape. However, there will be serious economic and environmental consequences for the local people; and their future generations will face very serious economic and environmental problems. Our first priority is to safeguard interest of our people and unfortunately we have to be apologetic over this because of fear of being declared anti Pakistan’. He said, ‘Love of country is part of our faith and we will continue to oppose those who colonise us and loot and plunder our resources’.

Professor Rafiq Bhatti who is a senior leader of UKPNP and have travelled from Mirpur said, ‘KNP leadership should be congratulated for arranging this seminar on a topic which will have disastrous impact on people and environment of the area.’ He said, ‘Many people only deal with current issues, but thinking people also have eyes set on events of future, because we have to plan our future today. We have to ensure what we do today will not be detrimental to the interests of our future generations. Our loyalty should be with our nation. It is our duty to inform our people what is being done to their economy and how our resources are being exploited’.

He said, ‘Both India and Pakistan are plundering resources of our State, and who ever speak out for rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is declared as anti Pakistan’. He said, ‘It is ironic that Sind Assembly can pass a resolution against construction of Kala Bagh Dam even though that is to benefit Pakistan; and no one call them anti Pakistan’. He said, ‘If economic matters are not resolved appropriately then people could be forced to think of alternatives which could lead to extremism and violence.’

Javed Shah, representing JKLF, said: ‘This is a trivial matter and I advise the KNP leaders not to waste time on the dam and water issues. They should use their time and resources on positive things’.

Hussain Suharwardi Shaheed, a leader of Muslim Conference said people of Azad Kashmir have given sacrifices for Pakistan and we will not hesitate to do the same again. But on the issue of construction of mega dams like Neelam Jhelum Project Government of Pakistan should consult us and give us appropriate royalty for this. He said all people uprooted because of these development projects should be compensated. Our party has always supported Pakistan and cared for interests of Pakistan, but we should not be treated unfairly.

Nawaz Majid, Secretary General of KNP British Zone said: Because of wrong policies of Pakistan, people of Pakistani Administered Kashmir are having ideological changes. At one time 100% people on this side of the LOC opposed accession to India, but on my recent visit to POK I have met people who openly said, ‘If given only two choices they will opt for India, as they have better system and more facilities than what could be available on this side.’

He said, ‘Apart from Pakistani dam on River Neelam, India is also constructing a dam known as Kishanganga Hydro Electrical project. These both projects will surely have very serious impact on environment of the area, not to mention its negative impact on wildlife and beauty of the region which is major source of tourism’.

Asif Masood Choudhry who represented NSF, said: KNP leadership should be congratulated for holding a seminar on this important topic which will affect future of our generations. He said the way the Pakistani authorities have started this project clearly shows they do not care about Kashmiri laws or interests of the local people and danger to the wildlife. They have just started construction without any contract with the Azad Kashmir Government; and this clearly shows what kind of independence this government has.

He said: NSF has history of opposing Pakistani occupation and Pakistani policies In Azad Kashmir, and we will continue to do that. He said we will support the KNP leadership in whatever steps they might take to oppose this project which is unjust and exploits our resources.

Master Nisar, a political activist of Muslim Conference said: His party has always supported accession to Pakistan and we have always given sacrifices for the cause of Pakistan. He said Pakistan has serious water and energy needs, and during this difficult time we need to help Pakistan. I am first Pakistani then a Kashmiri. To me Pakistan and Kashmir are same.

Raja Yasin, a political activist of Muslim Conference said: We support Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan, but it does not mean that we should not ask for our legitimate rights. We do care for Pakistan’s water requirements, but we should get royalty for this. Pakistan must have a contract with Azad Kashmir government, and must give compensation to the affected people.

Usman Kiani, President of UKPNP said: We are not Pakistanis; even constitution of Pakistan does not regard us as Pakistanis. We must not live in fantasy world. I am a nationalist Kashmiri. I am a Kashmiri first and Kashmir last. UKPNP have worked together with the leadership of KNP and we have shared platforms in Geneva and in many other places. I want to assure the KNP leaders that we will support them in this campaign, because it is in the national interest of our country.

Maqsood Hussain Shah, author and political activist said: we appreciate Pakistan’s water requirements but we also have some genuine requirements. If they build this dam it will affect our lives and lives of our future generations. It will also affect lives of many other species. Pakistan must consult government of Azad Kashmir. We should oppose Neelam Jhelum hydro Project and if need be we should contact the UN and other international bodies. He said we people of Kashmir must be part of any talks on Kashmir. It is not for India and Pakistan to decide our future. He emphasised the need of unity that we could have some say in the future talks on Kashmir.

Ejaz Pracha, a Pakistani activist said: You people have some genuine issues. We have no leadership in Pakistan to protect interests of Pakistan; and you people have no leadership to protect your interests. My advice to you is to get maximum unity and only then you can protect rights and interests of your people.

Nazam Bhatti, President of KNP in his concluding remarks said: ‘We are true nationalist and it is our duty to protect interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir; and we must not be apologetic over this. We must be steadfast in our resolve and totally ignore what critics say about us. Some people have a role to criticise us and deter us from doing our national duty’.

He said, ‘those who have interest of people of Jammu and Kashmir close to their hearts, to them construction of this dam is very serious matter because it is economic and environment disaster. We have right to use our resources according to our requirements. Any project which is against our wishes and against our requirements must be opposed; and if necessary destroyed’. END

--
Dr Shabir Choudhry
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." -- George Orwell.


 
 Reply:   Neelam Jhelum Hydroelectric Project - exploitation of Kashmiri resources
Replied by(drshabir) Replied on (5/Jul/2010)
Speech of Dr Shabir Choudhry in a seminar arranged by Kashmir National Party on 04 July 2010.

Neelam Jhelum Hydroelectric Project - exploitation of Kashmiri resources

Speech of Dr Shabir Choudhry in a seminar arranged by Kashmir National Party on 04 July 2010.

 

Mr Chairman, friends and colleagues Aslamo alaykam.

 

1. Clarification

 

Before I make a presentation on the above topic, I want to make this clear that I DO NOT write or speak against Pakistan. I write and actively protect and promote interest of people of Pakistani Administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. Because wrong doer on this side of the divide is Pakistan or Pakistani officials and I expose their deeds which they do in name of Islam or brotherhood, people wrongly accuse me of being anti Pakistan.

 

When Pakistani writers and media people expose Pakistani officials for wrong doings inside Pakistan, they get compliments and they are not called anti Pakistan, but when we nationalist Kashmiris expose wrong doings of Pakistani officials inside our territory, we are accused of being anti Pakistan and in some cases ‘Indian agents’.

 

True, for some years I have paid less attention to issues of Indian Administered Kashmir not because they are not important, but because there are plenty of people to speak for their rights; and if I speak I will be just another voice. Whereas on the Pakistani side of the divide there is hardly anyone to speak out or expose human rights abuses and economic exploitations because of fear and intimidation.

 

As soon as anyone dares to speak to expose wrong doings of Pakistani officials in Pakistani Administered Kashmir or Gilgit Baltistan he is criticised as being ‘anti Pakistan’ or an ‘Indian agent’. Because of this fear and intimidation people are very hesitant to speak about their plight on this side of the LOC.

 

I have courageously written and criticised Pakistan’s Kashmir policy for years. It was not criticism for the sake of criticism, as I supported my contentions with historical evidence and facts, and yet I had to pay a big price for this; and because of ludicrous allegation and campaign of hatred, even I feel the pressure. I am a practicing Muslim, and yet I have been called Hindu and Sikh, just because what I write does not promote interest of those who make Kashmir policy for us, and those who have transformed the Kashmiri struggle in to business, whereas people of Jammu and Kashmir continue to suffer.

 

After announcing this seminar I had a phone call in which the caller verbally abused me and said: ‘If you are a true Kashmiri then you should expose India, because they are killing innocent people including children; and all you care is about water issues in Azad Kashmir’.

 

I gave him appropriate replies, but for the benefit of this audience, I and KNP condemn terrorism and killing of innocent people. To us Indian policy in Kashmir is exposed and you can’t expose it anymore; however we need to expose Pakistani policy on Kashmir which is carefully disguised in name of Islam and brotherhood.

 

2. Introduction

 

Mr Chairman

 

Water is fundamental to human survival, and many countries have serious shortage of water and energy, yet demand is on increase. Lack of sufficient clean and useable freshwater has adverse impact on economy and prosperity of many countries. Because of this scarcity, water has taken a strategic role for many states; and could be cause of conflicts in future.

 

In 1995, Vice President of the World Bank Ismael Serageldin said: If the wars of this century were fought over oil, the wars of the next century will be fought over water.’   

 

Egypt went to war with Israel more than once, but when President Anwar Sadat signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, he said Egypt will never go to war again, except to protect its water resources. Former Secretary General of the Untied Nation, Boutros Boutros-Ghali warned bluntly that ‘the next war in the area will be over water’.  

 

As freshwater resources transcend national boundaries and its management is a major challenge for the future. If amicable mechanism of water distribution is not established, and alternative sources of energy are not discovered then Ismael Serageldin’s prediction might prove to be correct not in too distant future.

 

Our neighbour, Pakistan has serious energy and clean water problems, and more than 38 million people do not have access to safe drinking water. Despite these serious problems Pakistan has failed to get consensus to construct Kala Bagh Dam, initial planning of which was made in 1950s, and the country has spent millions of pounds on various feasibility reports. All the reports suggest that the dam project was economically viable, but politicians and provinces did not agree with its construction for various reasons.

 

3. Water – our natural resources

 

Mr Chairman

 

Just like oil is natural resources of some countries, water is natural resources of Jammu and Kashmir; but unlike other countries we cannot sell our natural resources, because it is not under our control. Tragedy is we cannot even use water according to our wishes or requirements.

 

The water resources in Jammu and Kashmir belong to the people of the State, but it was India and Pakistan who decided how to use our water in Indus Water Treaty of 1960. In the past both countries fought conventional wars and a proxy war to take control of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, as both wanted to make it part of their country. Now fear is that they might clash over the water issue. 

Strategic Foresight Group of the International Centre for Peace Initiatives in Mumbai, in a book “The Final Settlement” deals with the issue of water between India and Pakistan in detail and says: Pakistan’s interest is in conflict with the people of Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control; and adds, "A conflict over land between the people of Kashmir and the government of India will soon become a thing of the past. On the other hand, a water war between Kashmir and Pakistan is inevitable in the future."

But the question is who will fight and protect rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir? The puppet leaders who will do anything to please their political masters in Islamabad have no spine to even talk about rights of the people of Pakistani Administered Kashmir. When people of Khyebar Pakhtoon Khawa strongly refused to allow Islamabad to construct the Kala Bagh Dam, even though it was in the interest of Pakistan, puppet leaders of Islamabad in Pakistani Administered Kashmir said: for sake of Pakistan we will build 100 dams in Azad Kashmir.

Prime Minister of Pakistani Administered Kashmir, Sikandar Hayat told a seminar on March 6, 2003 “The freedom fighters of Kashmir are in reality fighting for Pakistan's water security and have prevented India from constructing a dam on the Wular Barrage.”

Another Prime Minister of Pakistani Administered Kashmir, Sardar Yaqoob Khan while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 12 August 2009, said, ‘the AJK had the potential to generate over 14,000 megawatts (MW) of hydro-electricity’. 

Pakistan’s electric requirement stands at 14,700 MW, and if our electric generating potential is in hands of a sincere government, then we can export electricity to Pakistan and meet their energy needs. It must be noted that current electric requirement of Pakistani Administered Kashmir is 400 MW; and we produce more than 1500 MW at present and we face long hours of load shedding just because everything is controlled by Islamabad.

4. Neelam Jhelum Hydroelectric Project

Mr Chairman

In line with its past policies, Islamabad has started a mega project in its colony, known as Azad Kashmir. They did not even care to consult, get permission, or have a formal agreement with the rulers of this territory. They know these rulers are puppets, and are ‘appointed’ there to look after interests of Islamabad.

Neelam Jhelum Hydroelectric Project is located near Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani Administered Kashmir. It aims to dig a tunnel and divert water of Neelam River from Nauseri, about 41 KM East of Muzzafrabad. A Powerhouse will be constructed at Chatter Kalas, 22 Km South of Muzaffarabad; and after passing through the turbines the water will be released in Jhelum River, about 4 Km South of Chatter Kalas. Once completed, the Neelam Jhelum Hydroelectric Project will produce 969 MW of electricity annually at the cost of US $2.16 billion.

  1. This project, once completed will benefit Pakistan, but local people will not benefit from it in any form or shape. However, there will be serious economic and environmental consequences for the local people; and their future generations will face very serious economic and environmental problems.

 

  1. The project will have very serious impact on environment of the area, as it plays a key role in the configuration of Himalayan ecosystem. Environmental groups have expressed their concerns about prospective environmental hazards on local economy and biodiversity.

 

  1. Ecologists say the project area has significant conservational importance due to abundant of forests, aquatics life and presence of many species of wild life, which have been declared endangered globally.

 

  1. Majority of population lives in rural areas and their existence and life largely depends upon forestry, livestock and agriculture. River water and natural springs are main source for drinking and irrigation of land; and this diversion of river will have serious water shortage, which will make life miserable for the local people.

 

  1. The project will also have serious impact on the habitat of various rare species considered on the verge of extinction. Developmental activities in the area and other changes will surely have negative impact on the natural habitat of wildlife.

 

  1. Beauty of this area is enhanced by this river; and this diversion will have serious affect on wild life, weather and beauty of the area. The river and the beauty of the area attract tourists and provide clean water to the local people and citizens of Muzaffarabad; and this diversion of water will deprive the area of clean water and reduce the Neelam River to ‘Nalah Lahi’ in Rawalpindi which has dirty water and creates enormous problems for the citizens.

 

5. Kishanganga Hydro Electrical project

 

Mr Chairman

 

Interestingly India is also constructing a dam on the Neelam River at Gurez which will divert water through 22 KM long tunnel before it enters Pakistani Administered Kashmir; and release the water in to Bonar Madumati Nallah – a tributary of the Jhelum River. The diverted water would be used for generating 390 megawatt electricity and feeding the Wullar Lake. The project will be completed by 2015.

 

What this mean is that the water of Neelam River will join River Jhelum at Bandipore on the Indian side of LOC instead of its present convergence at Domel in Muzaffarabad, Pakistani Administered Kashmir. This project has potential to benefit people of Jammu and Kashmir on the Indian side of the LOC, but it will surely reduce flow of water in the Neelam River when it enters Pakistani Administered Kashmir; and it will have severe impact on Neelam-Jhelum Hydro Electric Project.

 

The government of Pakistan believes that the diversion of water to Wullar Lake contravenes the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty, as it affect flow of water and affects the Pakistani project. Bilateral Talks between the countries on this issue have failed and Pakistan wants to resolve this issue by invoking the arbitration process enshrined in the Indus Water Treaty of 1960.

 

6.          Other Hydropower projects in Pakistani Administered Kashmir

 

Mr Chairman

 

Pakistan plans to construct some more dams in Pakistani Administered Kashmir.

 

They have completed a project at Jagran with capacity to produce of 30.4
MW, and it is already connected with National Grid System in Pakistan. Apart from that they have completed small projects at, Kundal Shahee, Kathai and Leepa. Also they have some micro- level projects completed and in operation at Kail.


The government of Pakistan in its Water Vision 2025 programme has announced to construct more dams in Pakistani Administered Kashmir, details are as follows:


Kohalla hydropower project


 Kohalla project: This is also run-of-river project, and the project site is located at Dhal Chattian 22 km from Muzaffarabad upstream on Jhelum and powerhouse is at Barsala 7 km from Kohalla. The completion period is about nine years at the cost of $1381 million.


New Bong  with capacity of 74 MW

Gulpur  with capacity of 60 MW

Rajdhani with capacity of 86 MW

Chakhoti with capacity of 123 MW
Abbasian with capacity of 244 MW

Harrihgel with capacity of 53 MW

Kotli with capacity of 97 MW

 

There are some micro and small size projects under consideration, and these are:

 

Batar with capacity of 4.8 MW

Kathai with capacity of 2.4 MW

Batdhara with capacity of 10.2 MW 

Riali with capacity of 24.9 MW and

Dhakari with capacity of 3.2 MW


7.          Conclusion

 

As noted earlier water is essential for human survival and progress. Jammu and Kashmir is blessed with this by the Almighty Allah; and Pakistan has serious water and energy problems. Due to out of date water management techniques, poor planning, and political problems the situation has become very acute.

 

We appreciate Pakistan’s water and energy requirements and want to help them in this regard as well; but they should learn to share resources and not to exploit us by behaving like an imperialial power. They need to acknowledge that these resources belong to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and if they want to make use of them then best way is to negotiate that with government of Pakistani Administered Kashmir and pay for the resources they use that people of the area also benefit from this.

 

This approach will create better understanding and promote goodwill between people of Pakistan and people of Jammu and Kashmir. If on the other hand they continue with their policies of exploiting Kashmir resources like imperial powers do, then it will surely back fire and will generate bad feelings for Pakistan.

 

I end with a quote of Mir Afzal Suleria, President of Kashmir National Party in Pakistani Administered Kashmir, who while talking to Human Rights Watch, said:

 

‘Pakistan says they are our friends and India is our enemy. I agree India is our enemy, but with friends like these, who needs enemies’?

 

Mr Chairman, I thank you for your patience.

 

Writer is Director Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs.
To view other articles see my blog: www.drshabirchoudhry.blogspot.com


--
Dr Shabir Choudhry
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." -- George Orwell.


 
 Reply:   All big dams are environmental danger, whats new?
Replied by(Noman) Replied on (27/Jun/2010)

Dear Dr Shabbir.. its not good to talk only anti-Pakistan all the time. All know that all big dams are known as dangerous to environment.
 
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