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The News

Published Date: Dec 23, 2013

Pakistan to face $ 145 million yearly loss

With the Kishenganga debacle in The Hague court, Pakistan is
to brave loss of $145 million every year for the power lost in Neelum-Jhelum
(N-J) project following massive reduction in water flows.

More significantly, in drought conditions, as faced in 2001,
Pakistan will face a loss of more than $544 million every year, Wapda officials
told The News. This will be a huge loss to Pakistan’s strategic project’s
financial viability, they said but did not dare to offer more comments on the

However, they said that a thorough probe should be initiated
against Pakistan’s team of legal and technical experts that failed to plead the
case in an effective manner of the low riparian country.

“And on top of it, a more shocking development is that India
plans to construct 10 more hydropower projects upstream Wullar lake that would
inflict more damage to Pakistan’s water interests,” they confided to The News.

When contacted, eminent water and energy expert Arshad H
Abbasi, presently associated as an adviser with SDPI (Sustainable Development
Policy Institute), said the decision by the international court was a disaster
for Pakistan not only for electricity generation capacity of the Neelum-Jheulm
project but also for the ecology of the beautiful Neelum Valley.

Mr Abbasi, who has also been the part of track-2 diplomacy
with India on water issues came down heavily on Pakistan’s legal team and
experts arguing that Article 90 of decision of the Hague court speaks a lot
about ineptness of Pakistan’s team that clearly says: “Pakistan has submitted
no data on current or anticipated agricultural uses of water from the
Kishenganga/Neelum. Pakistan has, however, stated that future development in
the Neelum Valley will be contingent on the increased use of lift irrigation
from the river and on a move away from subsistence agriculture. The parties
disagree as to whether such potential future uses are relevant to the
determination of the minimum flow.”

He said this is enough evidence to initiate a probe against
the Pakistani team and put their names in the ECL.In case they are proven
guilty, then a high treason case should be filed against them as they have
compromised the vital water interests of the country.

To a question, he said Pakistan receives 2.4 million acre
feet of water every year if the average releases of water in last 30 years are
kept in view. With diversion of water by India, Pakistan will be deprived of 45
percent of 2.45MAF water and in drought years, the country will be deprived of
90% of 2.4MAF.

Pakistan is going to complete by December 2015 the Rs278
billion Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower project in AJK on the Neelum River with the
capacity to generate 969MW of electricity.

This means that the Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower project is to
produce 5,178 million units of electricity annually, but the diversion of water
will negatively impact the flow of 58.4 cubic metres per second if India
continues to undertake the Kishenganga hydropower project.

The Kishenganga River is called the Neelum River in
Pakistan, and a river that was named for its deep blue waters, will have
significantly reduced water flows.Mr Abbasi said the Pakistani counsel and team
seemed to be jubilant over the decision, and the former Adviser to the Prime
Minister on Water and Agriculture Resources, Kamal Majeedullah, and Pakistan’s
agent in Kishenganga case has been quoted as saying that the decision ruled “overwhelmingly in Pakistan’s favour.”

The newly elected government has also fallen into the trap
of the same team, which had spoiled the whole case, he said.Abbasi apprehended
stating the untruth that Pakistan had won the case, perhaps the legal team was
trying to save face. “But the facts are incontrovertible according to which the
court ruled in favour of India.”

When contacted, former Wapda chairman and well know water
expert Shamsul Mulk said that he had not yet gone through the detailed verdict
of the Hague court, but he will be able to speak on the subject after two
days.However, he said that now time has come to speak the truth with the nation
and the government should not hide the facts.