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Hand over Salal to J

Written by: Staff
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Lolab (North Kashmir), July 5 (UNI) The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a ruling coalition in Jammu and Kashmir, today demanded handing over of the Salal power project to the state to compensate for huge losses it has suffered during the past 46 years due to the Indus Water Treaty (IWT).

Addressing a party convention at Chairkoot in Lolab area of Kupwara district, PDP President Mehbooba Mufti said the IWT signed between India and Pakistan in September 1960 has deprived Jammu and Kashmir of benefits of its rich water resources.

Due to this treaty, she said the rights over the use of water from three main rivers -- Indus, Chenab and Jehlum -- have been entrusted to Pakistan.

Ms Mufti said the treaty allows India exclusive rights over the three eastern rivers -- Satluj, Beas and Ravi -- for power generation and irrigation, benefiting the states of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh at the cost of Jammu and Kashmir.

She termed as discriminatory the Treaty towards Jammu and Kashmir as the northern states of India and most of Pakistan were prospering because of it.

''Jammu and Kashmir could not even fulfill its maximum power requirement due to the limitations it has over the water usage.'' While Jammu and Kashmir could produce only 400 MW of power, the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) on the other hand was generating around 1100 MW in the state through its two power projects at Salal and Uri, the PDP Chief said.

''Even this is being exported to other states,'' she added.

Ms Mufti said although not substantially, the handing over of 650 MW Salal power project could, to some extent, compensate the losses suffered by the state due to the IWT.

She urged the Centre to consider the demand on priority to facilitate economic development of Jammu and Kashmir, which otherwise was not possible given the present dismal power scenario.

UNI AG vd nd1732

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