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News1       October, 2011

JK Govt owns NHPC-run power projects: Taj :
The Cabinet Sub-Committee constituted to revisit the pacts signed with the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) over different power projects in Jammu and Kashmir is “actively considering” recommending to the state government that the schemes were transferred to the Corporation on Built-Operate and Transfer Mode and their ownership lies with Jammu and Kashmir. Headed by the Finance Minister, Abdul Rahim Rather, the Committee today met to discuss the terms and condition under which various power projects were transferred to NHPC. “Deliberations are on. So far what has emerged from different official communications between the state government and government of India is that the ownership of the projects was never handed over to NHPC,” said Minister for Irrigation, Taj Mohi-ud-Din, who is a member of the sub-committee. Taj said article 256 of Constitution of India says that if Union of India requires land in the state it should be acquired by the latter on expense of the former. “In view of it JK’s Transfer of Property Act was amended in 1979 to incorporate part (d) to section 140 which makes it clear that state property can be transferred to the union of India which can sublet it to the extent of execution, transfer and maintenance only and not on ownership basis. It is even substantiated by state revenue records and communications between Government of India and NHPC. Nobody has given a thought to it so far,” Taj said. “Many things are to be looked into seriously before the committee finalizes its reports. But it is clear that the projects were transferred to the NHPC on Built, Operate and Transfer mode which means the state is the owner of the projects. We have reached a point where the committee is considering recommending to the government that the projects were transferred on BOT and not BOOT (Built, Own, Operate and Transfer) pattern. This is our stand in the Court too,” said Taj. The recommendations by the Committee are important as the state government will make it a basis to take up its case on the projects with the NHPC. Presently operation, execution and maintenance of four operational projects including 790-MW Salal, 390-MW Dulhasti, 480-MW Uri-I and 120-MW Sewa –II is being controlled by the NHPC. Besides, it is executing other 7-10 projects in the state including 280-MW Uri-II, 300-MW Kishanganga, 44-MW Chutak, 45-MW Nimoo Bazgoo. Meanwhile an official handout said the committee held threadbare discussions on the subject and decided to meet again on November 14. The meeting was also attended by the Minister for Law & Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Muhammad Sagar, Taj Mohi-ud-din, Minister for Tourism Rigzin Jora, Commissioner/Secretary Power, Basharat Ahmed Dhar, Commissioner/Secretary General Administration Department, Muhammad Syed Khan and consultant PHE Irrigation Department.

News1       June, 2011

I&FC Deptt. buys 2 new dredges from US firm :
The State Government has decided to purchase two dredges for flood protection activities costing Rs. 12 crores and agreement to this effect was signed by Chief Engineer, Irrigation & Flood Control, Kashmir, M. R. Shola, on behalf of the State Government and President, M/S Ellicott Dredges, USA, Peter Bowe here today. This is for the third time that M/S Ellicott Dredges is supplying dredges to the State Government. For the first time in 1910, the first agreement with the company was signed followed by another agreement in 1959. The company being a pioneer in dredging equipments is having good business relations with the State for the last hundred years and to keep these relations intact, the President of the company flew all the way from USA to Srinagar to sign the agreement. It may be recalled here that the Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Taj Mohi ud Din has time and again stressed the need for starting dredging in the river Jhelum and put his all efforts to get dredges of new model purchased in order to start dredging in Jhelum which has not been done for a long now forcing experts to foresee dangers of massive floods in the Valley. Later, Bowe called on the Minister and discussed latest techniques in dredging.

News1       June, 2011

Taj deserves kudos for getting money from NHPC :
June 7th: A large number of our legislators, even when they become ministers, continue to have a special affiliation with the constituency from where they get elected. Of course, they need to maintain liaison with the voters who elect them. Time and again, they rush there, and in the process often ignore the big picture. The ministers often forget that they can’t (should not be) partial to their own constituencies as they have to look after the entire state. This leads to tunnel vision or narrow vision and the ministers fail to do justice to their jobs. They fail to work diligently for the entire state and this results into precious resources not being utilised properly for they fail to identify them in the first place. The losses suffered by Jammu and Kashmir on account of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), signed between India and Pakistan, is one such case that needs to be studied threadbare. The treaty enriched Punjab because waters that came India’s way benefited it the most. In the bargain, J&K lost heavily as Punjab steadfastly refused to honour the commitments it made with its western neighbour in 1978. During Sheikh Abdullah’s stewardship of the state, Punjab and J&K had signed an agreement on sharing Rawi waters. A barrage was to be constructed at Shahpur Kandi and 25 MW of electricity would have been generated there for J&K. Besides, Rawi waters were to be channeled from the Shahpur Kandi barrage into Kathua, Samba and Jammu district. Thousands of acres of parched land would have been irrigated in J&K and changed the agrarian economy. Successive governments failed to take up the issue effectively with Punjab or even educate the masses of J&K about their rights. Till Taj Mohiuddin took upon himself to effectively bring the issue to the fore. He has also minutely studied how Central organisations like NHPC can be made to pay for the use of water to generate electricity. Taj was able to convince the state government for the need to pass a new law to tax water used by the NHPC. This year alone, it is expected to generate close to Rs 950 crore for the state exchequer and that is sure a lot of money for J&K. The next year, the amount is likely to touch Rs 1,100 crore if all goes well. Before Taj Mohiuddin took charge as cabinet minister in charge of Public Health Engineering (PHE) and Irrigation and Flood Control in 2009, no minister ever took up the issue as seriously. He has been able to put Punjab on the backfoot and it is only a matter of time before waters from Rawi start flowing into J&K for irrigation purposes. Incidentally, the department remained for most of the time in the recent past with legislators from the Kashmir Valley. None of them ever focused on Rawi waters as it would have benefited people in the Jammu region. Of course, successive ministers (including chief ministers) harped on the harms the IWT did to J&K. This was seen more as a ploy to browbeat the Central government then any serious effort to mobilise resources and present J&K’s case in a clear and forceful manner. Taj Mohiuddin has been able to change that and prove himself to be a minister who takes the entire state as his responsibility, not only the constituency which elected him. He had won two successive elections from Uri in Baramulla, defeating National Conference (NC) veteran Mohammed Shafi Uri. If Taj succeeds in bringing Rawi waters into J&K for irrigation from Satwain just as he has managed to get the first tranche of money from the NHPC, J&K will get something that belongs to it since 1978, at least 33 years after the original pact with Punjab. His tenacity and success on tapping Rawi waters can impact the Congress fortunes in Basohli, Kathua, Hiranagar, Samba and Vijaypur constituencies. Mobilisation of resources by taxing water can change the ownership of several hydropower projects. Will he succeed in both of his plans? Only time can tell that but he has made a good and very sound beginning. He will do well to remember that Roshni I and II schemes, launched with much fanfare by two governments, one headed by Farooq Abdullah and another by Ghulam Nabi Azad, had promised to mobilise huge resources. Both versions of Roshni failed to mobilise the promised funds but the state government lost the ownership of thousands of kanals of land in all districts. Taj should beware of such fate befalling his schemes.

News1       June, 2011

NHPC behaving like East India Company :
Srinagar, June 5: Senior Congress leader and Minister for Irrigation Taj Mohi-ud-Din Sunday said the Government of India owned National Hydroelectric Power Corporation is “behaving like the East India Company in Jammu and Kashmir and draining the state’s power potential.”

The statement by the senior cabinet minister comes amid Jammu and Kashmir government raising pitch for the return of some major power projects from the NHPC to the state.

“NHPC is behaving like the East India Company in the state. It is exploiting the water resources of poor states. Their attitude is arrogant and they are contemptuous towards law of the land,” said Taj, addressing at a day-long seminar on Management of Water Resources in Jammu and Kashmir, organized by ‘J&K Citizens Welfare Council.’

However Taj said it is not difficult to ensure protection of state’s resources including its vast hydroelectric potential. “It is not a big deal to frame laws, it needs seriousness,” he said.

The NHPC is managing four power projects in J&K—Uri-I, Salal, Dulhasti and Sewa-II with combined power generation capacity of 1660 MWs. Besides, it is going to commission over seven power projects in near future, some of them in joint venture with the state government. The state is getting only 12 percent power free as royalty from the operational projects managed by NHPC while as a fixed quota of the energy is sold to it on generation cost. “Time has come to recover water usage charges from all power corporations including NHPC,” an official handout quoted Taj as saying.

ON RETURN OF POWER PROJECTS
The minister said the state government would seek return of the power projects from NHPC under Built, Operate, Own, and Transfer (BOOT) policy as already adopted in case of Rattle power project which would be transferred to the state after 35 years.

“Mistakes were committed in the past. We need support of civil society to rectify them. It is a payback time and there should be no doubt on return of projects to the state,” he said.

The state government has initiated a process to seek return of six power projects from NHPC under a Memorandum of Understanding reached between the state and the union Power Ministry in 2000. The projects are 280-MW Uri-II (Baramulla), 330-MW Kishanganga (Bandipora), 1020 MW Bursar (Kishtwar), 120-MW Sewa-II (Kathua)), 45-MW Chutak (Kargil) and 44-MW Nimo Bazgo (Leh).

ON THEIN DAM PROJECT
Regarding non-implementation of 1975 agreement by the Punjab Government with the state over water and power share from Thein Dam project, Taj said government shall take measures that shall tantamount to take its allocated share of water from Ravi.

“We will ensure to get our due rights from the project by the end of this year,” Taj said. The state has suffered loss of Rs 8650 crores on account of the violation of the agreement by Punjab.

FUTURE POWER GENERATION
Taj said under J&K Water Resources Regularization and Management Act, the state government would generate Rs 900 crores revenue through water usage charges on power projects owned by state Power Development Corporation and those managed by NHPC.

“It is a hard cash which can be invested in future power projects or can help us get back the projects from NHPC by paying the deprecation cost to the corporation,” he said.

ON IWT
Taj said Jammu and Kashmir has suffered “huge losses” on account of the Indus Water Treaty which gives exclusive rights to Pakistan over three rivers originating from the state.

“Pakistan would have ceased to exist but for these three rivers originating from the state. The Indus Water Treaty was signed between two sovereign states (India and Pakistan). If they say Kashmir is a dispute then Indus Water Treaty is also a dispute. Pakistan has accepted India’s sovereignty over Kashmir,” Taj said. Taj was referring to his lecture delivered at a function organized by European Union abroad in 2008.

OTHER SPEAKERS VOICE CONCERN
Minister for Agriculture GH Mir was critical of the silence adopted by the civil society to ensure protection of state resources.

“Here our mindset is focused on one issue only. As a result other issues suffered. Does our civil society take initiatives on protection and management of resources?” Mir asked.

He appreciated Taj for his role in bringing to focus the issues related to power and its exploitation by NHPC. “But he can’t do anything alone. Government and civil society needs to play its role,” Mir said.

Mir said parties belonging to any section of thought should think upon the exploitation of state’s resources.

“Traditional politics and sloganeering will not work. People here are afraid of gun on either side. We should give up this fear and unite to fight for our rights and resources,” he said.

Without elaborating, Mir said: “I am a state subject. I don’t have any property lying outside the state nor do I have relations. I will work for state’s interests.”

CPI-M state Secretary Targami said it was collective responsibility of government and people to ensure that state gets its rights over projects presently managed by NHPC.

Former President, Federation Chamber Industries Kashmir, Shakeel Qalander accused the successive governments of failing to ensure implementation of agreement with the NHPC and Power Ministry over execution of power projects. He hoped the initiative taken by Taj Mohi-ud-Din and the state government would not fade out in oblivion. “Otherwise people will come on roads to protest for their rights. The civil society will go to any extent to support the state government to get the projects transferred to the state,” Qalander said. “The civil society demands that the bureaucrats and politicians involved in this criminal conspiracy should be exposed.”

Noted economist, Prof Nisar Ali, political scientist Prof Noor Ahmad Baba also spoke on the occasion.

News1       June, 2011

Taj reviews water supply in Pulwama :
Srinagar, June 3: Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Taj Mohi-ud-Din today reviewed the supply of drinking water for Pulwama town. Addressing a meeting, Taj directed the engineers to ensure that adequate supply of potable drinking water is made available to the residents of the town in view of rise in temperature.

The Minister directed the engineers to undertake regular cleaning and de silting of filtration plants to minimize turbidity in water. He also appealed people to make judicious use of water.

News1       May, 2011

JK loses 3300 mn units of energy annually :
Srinagar, May 25: While Salal power project is set to dominate the state cabinet meeting Thursday, rough estimates show how Jammu and Kashmir continues to be "robbed of legitimate rights” over its water resources.While the state would have been the sole owner of around 3300 million units of energy generated annually from Salal if it was transferred in time to JK, the project would have also saved around more than 1/3rd of the Power Bill to JK which is set to touch Rs 3000 crore this fiscal, officials said.

State’s Irrigation Minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din told Greater Kashmir on Wednesday that Salal was due for return to the state after 25 years based on the cent percent depreciation value calculation and given that only 12 percent of power was shared from the project by National Hydro-electric Power Corporation (NHPC) as royalty with Jammu and Kashmir. "It is over due to state since 2003," Taj said. Presently NHPC, which controls the 690 MW Salal hydroelectric project, is selling power generated from it to different states including JK and Punjab.

Of 3300 million units of energy produced by Salal annually, state is getting 400 million units free as royalty while as it is purchasing another 750 million units annually at the rate of 0.72 paisa, officials said.

The remaining energy from Salal is sold by NHPC to different states under short and long term agreements.

While the rates for selling of energy on short term agreement (STA) are market driven and on much higher side, the rates for energy selling on long term agreement (LTA) are driven by the guidelines set by National Electricity Regulatory Commission, and are also on comparatively lower side.

Going by the cabinet order, state would have been receiving 50 percent (1650 million units) of the total energy generated by Salal and of the returns on the remaining 50 percent energy (1650 million units), JK’s share was again 50 percent.

Going by the minister’s assertion, state would have been the lone owner of the around 3300 million units of energy generated annually by Salal from 2003. While the first stage of the project started 345 mw generation in 1987, the second stage (345 mw) is operational since 1995.

State’s annual revenue for the year 2010-11 was about Rs 3,200 crore while its Power Purchase Bill (PPB) is set to touch Rs 3000 crore for 2011-12. The annual energy import of the state is set to be around 10000 million units for current fiscal.

To put it simply, a senior official said the state would have been able to meet more than 1/3rd of its power requirements locally, and hence saving huge money spent on Power Purchase Bill annually.

"In 1996 state’s tax revenue was around Rs 300 crore while as the generation from the project was around Rs 450 crore," the official said.

Greater Kashmir had on Saturday last exclusively revealed that the cabinet order was communicated to union power ministry vide letter No. BD-14/243/72 dated 21/07/1975, ahead of construction of Salal power project.

The order makes it clear that JK government would be entitled to 50 percent share of power on generation cost from the project, it will be at will to sell any surplus power out of its 50 percent share to any state, the profit earned from sale of the (remaining) 50 percent of power will be shared between state government and the government of India, and the ownership of the project will be reverted to the state government after a suitable period on payment of depreciated cost in accordance with JK Electric Supplies Act 1971 besides setting some other terms and conditions.

Following the revelation, the role of the successive regimes has come under sharp criticism for "shelving the implementation of the cabinet order at the cost of state exchequer."

As the facts stand now it is clear that the order which was passed by the then government in 1975 was not followed for implementation. Its execution wasn’t even taken up by the then state government in 1987 when the project started generation.

"It gives an idea how the then governments and successive regimes have handled the state’s strategic assets," said a retired bureaucratic. "Who is responsible for the losses?" he asked.

Paradoxically, while the successive regimes have been pleading before the government of India to transfer Salal to JK as a "Confidence Building Measure," least attention was given to dig out the historical facts.

"It (Salal) is our right," said Taj. However it remains to be seen what will be the outcome of tomorrow’s meeting which will discuss Salal as non-agenda item.

Former president Federation Chamber of Industries, Kashmir, Shakeel Qalander said it remains to be seen whether or not state would be able to protect its legitimate rights by taking over the possession of Salal which is now overdue as per the 1975 agreement.

“The response by the state government has been satisfactory so far. All political parties should unite on this issue," Qalander said.

News1       May, 2011

Govt working on Water Resources Regulatory Act: Taj :
Jammu, May 25: The Government is working on a draft for enactment of J&K State Water Resource Regulatory Act to regulate use of water resources and their preservation through a prospective planning.

The regulatory Act proposed to ensure judicious use of water resources would also encompass aspects related to their conservation and remunerative management.

This was stated by the Minister for PHE, Flood Control and Irrigation, Taj Mohi-u-Din at a meeting with technocrats convened to seek suggestions for the draft.

He said the draft formulated by the department had tried to include every aspect, including tariff from institutions using the water resources on commercial purpose, safety and designing of power projects, protection and embankment of canals and rivers. He said the proposed Act would add teeth to the laws preventing unauthorized use of water.

Taj said state had already drafted new water policy and was looking forward to announce the water regulatory authority shortly whose members had been nominated.

News1       May, 2011

Taj stresses for rationalization of water supply :
Jammu, May 24: Minister for Public Health Engineering (PHE), and Irrigation and Flood Control, Taj Mohi-ud-Din on Tuesday directed the PHE authorities to increase the daily pumping duration for meeting the requirement of potable water and rationalize the supply as per requirements of each area.

The Minister issued the directions while chairing a high level meeting of functionaries of PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, including Ravi Tawi Division here.

The meeting reviewed the drinking water supply scenario in Jammu city and other districts of the region, besides the discharge status at various major sources of irrigation across Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts.

The Minister asked PHE engineers to ensure adequate supply of drinking water so that people may not face any inconvenience. He directed the engineers to enhance the daily pumping of water at various stations to meet the water requirements which have witnessed a surge in view of rise in temperature during past few weeks.

News1       May, 2011

Taj Seeks Relevant File, Meets NHPC Authorities :
Srinagar, May 24: The state cabinet is scheduled to discuss on Thursday the non-implementation of its 1975 order agreed upon by the government of India regarding power sharing and transfer of Salal power project to Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, pursuing on the issue, the state Irrigation Minister, Taj Mohi-ud-Din, is learnt to have sought “full details” from the Power Development Department on the order even as he today took up its “violation by Government of India” with National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC), currently controlling the 690-MW Salal power project.

Highly placed sources told Greater Kashmir that Taj whose office had traced the vital archaic document has decided to take it to the cabinet though the agenda for the next cabinet meeting is yet to be decided. The minister is understood to have already informed his cabinet colleagues about the move.

“The minister will formally apprise the cabinet about the facts regarding the terms and conditions which were agreed upon by the then government of India over Salal. He will draw the cabinet’s attention to many question like why the order was not implemented and who is responsible for its violation and subsequent losses suffered by state,” sources said.

Greater Kashmir had on May 22 exclusively revealed that the cabinet order No. 128 dated: June 21, 1975 was communicated to union power ministry vide letter No. BD-14/243/72 dated 21/07/1975, ahead of construction of 690 MW Salal power project over river Chenab in Kishtwar area of Jammu and Kashmir.

The order makes it clear that JK government would be entitled to 50 percent share of power on generation cost from the project, it will be at will to sell any surplus power out of its 50 percent share to any state, the profit earned from sale of the (remaining) 50 percent of power will be shared between state government and the government of India, and the ownership of the project will be reverted to the state government after a suitable period on payment of depreciated cost in accordance with JK Electric Supplies Act 1971 besides setting some other terms and conditions.

Meanwhile following up on the issue, Taj is learnt to have sought the relevant file regarding the cabinet order from PDD.

“The Irrigation department has traced the number of the file. The minister (Taj Mohi-ud-Din), has under business rules, asked for the file from PDD. The file is expected to throw more light on the issue and the minister is hoping that some missing links would be ascertained,” sources said.

The file is important also because it would help the state to devise future strategy to seek return of the project from GOI and compensation against the losses suffered by it.

“It will be a long and hard process. But the state government must pursue the return of Salal,” said a senior cabinet minister.

Sources said Taj Mohi-ud-Din today “informally” took up the issue with NHPC authorities at Jammu.

The minister, sources said had more than 2-hour long meeting with NHPC Executive Director and his subordinates.

“Yes I discussed the order with them (NHPC officials). But they were not able to explain why the order was not implemented,” Taj told Greater Kashmir. He is expected to formally summon the NHPC authorities for their response on Salal in coming days. Among other things a local news agency said the cabinet would also discuss nomination of two Information Commissioners to State Information Commission. “The nomination of three new members for Public Service Commission will come for a discussion in the meeting,” the news agency quoted sources as saying.

Three members of PSC, Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, Javed Makhdoomi and Anil Goswami are completing their terms soon.

The cabinet, sources said would also give sanction to the creation of professor and assistant professor posts for Dental College Srinagar.

”Amendment in Panchyati Raj Act would also come for discussion,” they added.

News1       March, 2011

E-tendering for purchasing PHE material soon: Taj :
Jammu, Mar 7: Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Taj Mohi-ud-Din has said that to ensure the purchasing of PHE material in a transparent manner; the Govt would soon introduce E-procurement of pipes in the department.

The Minister was replying to a question by Naresh Kumar Gupta in Legislative Council today.

News1       February, 2011

Govt issues bills to hydel projects in JK :
Trouble Over Artificial Lake
Jammu, Feb 3: Acting further on implementation of the Water Resources Act 2010, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has issued bills for water usage to the power projects operating in the state.

Releasing the bills at a press conference here, the Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control Taj Mohi- ud- Din said revenues under the Act are expected to cross Rs 900 crores a year.

He said the Act was enforced in Jammu and Kashmir in on November 11 last year and on November 12 all the power projects generating electricity in the state were given notices to register themselves with the State Water Resources Regulatory Authority ( SWRRA) within six months.

He said these power projects have started making enquiries with the State Government about completion of the necessary formalities.

Releasing a copy of the bills for the first half quarter from November 12 to December 31, 2010, the Minister said the water usage charges for Salal Project have been calculated at Rs 10 crores, Uri project Rs 6.43 crores, Dul Hasti Rs 8.74 crores and for proposed Uri- II Rs 150 crores.

He said the NHPC alone accounts for Rs 37.33 crores in the first quarter billing.

“ The billing has been worked out as per the current discharge in the rivers of the state, which is expected to rise in spring,” Taj said. “ Currently the discharge in Jehlum is 1000 cusecs while as during summers it peaks to 8000 cusecs.” Terming the Water Resources Act as the first step towards economic self- reliance of the state, Taj said he is hopeful of realizing Rs 913 crores as water usage charges for the coming year which comes out to be 25 percent of the state’s total resource base.

He said once projects like Kishan Ganga are completed, the revenue generation on account of water usage by power projects is expected to cross Rs 1500 crores.

He said the constitution of a State Water Resources Regulatory Authority is in process. “ For the time being the powers of the authority are vested with the Principal Secretary, PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control,” he said.

He said the current rates of 25 paisa per cubic meter are applicable only for two years after which the rates will be reviewed by the SWRRA. About the idea of the Act, the Minister said it is in vogue in counties like Australia, England and many parts of Europe.

He said Jammu and Kashmir has thus become the first state in the country to have such an Act and states like Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand have asked for its copies.

Taj said for domestic usage of water, the Government intends introduction of meters for its judicious use. He said common man would not be affected with recoveries of usage dues on account of domestic, commercial and industrial use of water.

“ Ground water too has been brought under the purview of the Act and accordingly usage tariffs for domestic, industrial and commercial usage have been fixed,” he said.

He said the Central Government, under its policy, gets 30 percent of the O& M of a project back as revenue while in J& K this ratio is only one percent.

To a question of non- compliance by any power project, the Minister said under section 102 of the Act, the State can stop water to the project as penalty and even its possession would not be regularized.

Taj appealed people for judicious use of water and its conservation terming it as a non renewable gift of nature.

He said Government is also considering bringing in a law for promoting water harvesting in the State. “ The treatment cost of potable water comes out to be 50 paisa per liter while as the government gets only one paisa from the consumers,” he said.

JK accused of violating IWT Meanwhile fresh controversy has erupted between India- Pakistan, with former alleging Indus Water Treaty ( IWT) violation this time on River Tawi where Jammu and Kashmir government has taken up a prestigious project to construct an artificial lake.

A high- level team from Pakistan is expected to visit Jammu from February 15 to 25 to review the construction work on the first artificial lake.

“ Pakistan has raised certain objections over the creation of the lake and has expressed concern that it violates Indus Water Treaty ( which binds both the countries over usage of waters in the region),” Taj Mohi- ud- Din told reporters.

He said the state government has made it clear that there was no violation of the Treaty and the project was well within its permissible limits.

“ The state has already made it clear that the total cultivable command area and irrigated command in the State are well below the threshold limits as put up by the treaty,” he said.

As per the treaty, the pondage limit is four lac acres which is yet to be exploited, the minister said, adding, this is in addition to the one lakh acre limit of irrigation acreage yet to be attained in the region.

Government aims to prevent excess water during floods from being wasted and use it to irrigate more land and promote water transport in the river, giving it an aesthetic look.

To assess the ground situation and factual aspect of the issue, the team of Pakistan officials will be visiting Jammu. To be constructed at an estimated cost of around Rs 30 crores, the project is being developed on the dry patch in the river Tawi.

Having witnessed many hiccups, the work on the lake is proposed to be completed by 2012 and the reservoir will primarily be used for augmenting the Ranbir Irrigation Canal.

The IWT is a water- sharing treaty between the India and Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank. The treaty was signed in Karachi on September 19, 1960 by first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru and President of Pakistan Mohammad Ayub Khan

News1       January, 2011

Tawi barrage within IWT limits: Taj :
Jammu, Jan 17: Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Taj Mohi ud Din has said that the construction of barrage on river Tawi is well within the permissible limits of Indus Water Treaty (IWT).

Chairing a review meeting of irrigation canals and projects here today, the Minister said the construction of the said project does not violate any of the provisions of the 1964 signed Indus Water Treaty. He said the total Cultivable Command Area (CCA) and irrigated command in the State are well below the threshold limits as put up by the treaty.

The meeting was told that Jammu province, as per the limits of the treaty, has a pondage limit of four lac acres which is yet to be exploited. This is in addition to the one lakh acre limit of irrigation acreage yet to be attained in the region, the meeting was told.

Addressing the meeting, Taj said the aim of the project is to prevent excess water during floods from wastage and use it to irrigate more land and promote water transport in the river and giving it an aesthetic look.

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