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J&K to go ahead with Baglihar project

H S Rao | February 10, 2005 19:27 IST

Despite protests from Pakistan, the construction of the Rs 4,500 crore Baglihar hydro-power project on river Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir will be completed early next year, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said in London on Thursday.

"We are not afraid of Pakistan approaching the World Bank. In fact, we invite the Work Bank panel to check the site and see that we have not violated the Indus Water Treaty," he said.

Baglihar project: Pak threatens to approach WB

He said the state had already spent about Rs 2,500 crore on the 900 MW project.

Under the Indus-Water Treaty, India gave up its claim to use water from three eastern rivers, Jhelum, Chenab and Indus (all flowing from Jammu and Kashmir), to Pakistan in lieu of the three western rivers,  the Sutluj, Beas and Ravi.

The treaty, signed on September 19, 1960, was brokered by the World Bank.

Don't let Baglihar become another irritant: Pak

The other signatories are Britain, Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United States under the Indus Water Basin Development Fund Agreement.

Sayeed, who was in London to attract British tourists to the Kashmir valley, urged the United Kingdom government to revise their travel advice as near total normalcy was prevailing in the state and an estimated five lakh tourists had visited last year.

Sayeed also said the Srinagar airport is being converted into an international airport.

"The growth rate of the state is 16 per cent. There is no dearth in resources; it's the utilisation of funds that's a problem. Even the Asian Development Bank has allocated over $ 250 million for building infrastructure destroyed by militants," he said.

Commenting on the recent municipal corporation elections, he said despite stray incidents of violence, people came out in large numbers to participate in the polls.

The chief minister will now head to Dubai to attend a Tourism Conference on Friday. He will be accompanied by his daughter Mehabooba Mufti, member of Parliament and President of the People's Democratic Party.

Pak decides to seek World Bank arbitration on Baglihar


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