India is also building dozens of projects on the western rivers including the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab rivers. Nevertheless, the primary focus of Indian policy is to get ‘Power-Generation’ potential from the Chenab river to produce 4,000 MW -more or less.
Bursar Project is a storage facility in which the flow of water can be ‘regulated’ not only to the benefit of this project but all downstream projects including Baglihar, Pakal Dul, Rattle, Dul Hasti, Sawalkot and Salal Hydroelectric Projects. The site is located near village Hanzal in Doda District of J&K on river Marusudar which is one of the major right bank tributary of river Chenab. Bursar Dam (252 meter height) is intended to be used for additional power generation during lean flow months and releasing regulated flow in downstream. The height of proposed Diamer-Basha Dam is 270 meter. Another big project is Sawalkot Hydro project with a focus on components like dam and tunnel location. The project is proposed to be a run-of-river plant on river Chenab, located upstream of the already finished Salal Hydro electric Power project and downstream of Baglihar project.
Other projects include Kishenganga on Jhelum (330MW), Parnai on Jhelum (37.5MW), New Ganderbal on Jhelum (93MW), Baglihar-II on Chenab (450MW), Lower Kalnai on Chenab (50MW), Kirthai-I on Chenab (240MW), Kiru on Chenab (600MW), Kawar on Chenab (520MW), Ujh Multipurpose Project on Ravi (280MW).
The violation of IWT poses a real threat ahead as it is likely to trigger 'water wars' in the region. Although, Pakistan accurately measures the flows of water-from India-and thereby substantiate its claims, but all in vain. India on the other hand, snatches our share of water, while Pakistan behaves like a closed eyed pigeon.
Just imagine! if India gains control of western rivers of the Indus basin and shuts off Pakistan's water completely, the defence will be jeopardized because the 'canal irrigation system' also provides the best security to Pakistan against any ground military aggression.
Moreover, the disturbing factor of global warming is adversely affecting our agriculture, the current backbone of the national economy and rural livelihood. Water shortage is causing a friction among the provinces within Pakistan as well. However, the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) created by the inter-provincial Water Accord of 1991-- regulates the waters among the provinces.
Beyond any doubt, there is a great deal of need for stronger cooperation to preserve and develop water resources, yet 'environment of distrust' makes it difficult to tackle the alarming situation.
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