Srinagar, Oct 10 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today commissioned the 450 MW Baglihar power plant and said the concerns of Pakistan have been addressed.
Dr. Singh, while addressing a public meeting, said that in the implementation of the project, special care has been taken to ensure that the "genuine concerns" of Pakistan are taken care of so that it has no complaints in this regard.
In 2005, Pakistan had raised objections over the project with the World Bank alleging that the power plant was being built in violation of the Indus Water Treaty signed by the two countries in 1960 and apprehended it would divert water from its territory.
Dr. Singh also used the occasion to renew the hand of friendship and cooperation with Pakistan.
Singh said, "It is the duty of people of India and Pakistan to learn to lend a helping hand to each other. I would like to invite Pakistan to work with India in achieving this objective."
The Prime Minister said that the completion of the first phase of Baglihar project was a happy occasion as it would shore up the pace of development in the state and also go a long way in meeting power requirements of the people, facing severe electricity crises.
"With the commissioning of the power plant, the power generating capacity of the state had doubled from 309 MW to 759 MW," said the Prime Minister.
He said work on the second phase of the power plant with a capacity of 450 MW would be started very soon.
The Rs 5,500 crore project built over river Chenab, which is expected to help the state generate a revenue of Rs 900 crore, was dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister in the presence of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra and Union Ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Jairam Ramesh.
Sonia Gandhi, in her brief speech, congratulated both the Centre and state for completing the project and said that it was a symbol of their dedication and sincerity to work for the state's overall development.