India plans dam on River Chenab

February 22, 2010

By Khaleeq Kiani 

Pakistan’s Permanent Indus Commissioner Syed Jamaat Ali Shah had repeatedly asked his Indian counterpart to provide details of the proposed water storage and hydropower projects, including Bursar dam. – Photo by APP.


ISLAMABAD: With Pakistan still undecided when to formally seek intervention of the International Court of Arbitration against controversial construction of Kishanganga hydropower project by India in violation of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty, New Delhi has started preparations to build another big dam on River Chenab.

Documents available with Dawn suggest that the government of Indian-occupied Kashmir has invited bids for a ‘topographical survey of Bursar Dam (on Chenab) for acquisition of land and property’. New Delhi plans to begin construction by the end of the year.

Bursar Dam is considered as the biggest project among a host of others being built by India on two major rivers – Jhelum and Chenab – flowing through the state of Jammu & Kashmir into Pakistan and assigned to Islamabad under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty. The proposed dam would not only violate the treaty, international environmental conventions and cause water scarcity in Pakistan but would also contribute towards melting of Himalayan glaciers.

Pakistan’s Permanent Indus Commissioner Syed Jamaat Ali Shah had repeatedly asked his Indian counterpart to provide details of the proposed water storage and hydropower projects, including Bursar dam. However, India has taken the stand that it was aware of its legal obligations and it would let Pakistan know about the project details and relevant data six months before construction activities as required under the bilateral treaty, he said, adding the Pakistan could do nothing more when such projects were in the planning and investigation stage.

Responding to a question about Kishanganga hydropower project, he said he had already requested the government to move quickly for constitution of an International Court of Arbitration to stop construction of the controversial project. Pakistan, he said, had already nominated two members for the court of arbitration and had asked to do the same. He said the procedure laid down in the waters treaty required the two nations to nominate two adjudicators each of their choice and then jointly nominate three members to complete the composition of a seven-member court of arbitration.

He said the procedure also required that in case of a disagreement over three adjudicators, the complainant nation should ask the World Bank to nominate these three members and start formal proceedings. Pakistan, he said, had even prepared the list of three joint adjudicators since India had not yet fulfilled its obligations to nominate its two members and three joint members of the court. “We have completed the entire process, it was only a matter of formal launching and only the government could do that,” he said, adding that perhaps Islamabad intended to wait for the upcoming secretary level talks before triggering the legal process.

He, however, believed that these issues were of technical nature and should be processed accordingly as provided under the treaty.

Informed sources said that India had not only started building three other dams namely Sawalkot, Pakal-Dul and Kirthai on Chenab River, it has also completed the detail project report of Bursar Dam site. The proposed dam would have 829 feet height, storage capacity of more than two million acres feet and power generation capacity of 1200MW. The height of Baglihar, Tarbela and Mangla Dam is 474, 485 and 453 feet, respectively.

Bursar Dam would be constructed near Hanzal Village (near Kishtwar) in Doda District of Jammu & Kashmir on the 133-kilometre-long Marusudar River, the main right bank tributary of the Chenab river. Its construction would be a serious violation of the treaty as its storage was much behind the permissible limits. More than 4900 acres of thick forest would be submerged and the whole population of Hanzal village would be displaced.

Arshad H. Abbasi, visiting research fellow of the SDPI, said the project area fell in Seismic Zone V and hence most vulnerable to earthquake. Two active geological faults lines — Himalayan thrust and the Kishtwar fault — were passing through the project area, he said, adding that the worst impact of dam would be on glaciers of Marusudar river basin. He said that deforestation, coupled with high altitude military activities, had already created 48 glacial lakes in the Marusudar river basin covering an area of 225.35 sq km and massive construction activities in basin would further aggravate the melting of glaciers.

He said the project was located in Kishtwar High Altitude National Park which was an environmentally-protected area. Spreading over an area of 400 kilometres, the park contained 15 mammal species including the musk deer and Himalayan black and brown bear and some rare birds for which an environmental impact assessment study was necessary.

DAWN, Pakistan



  1. Pakistan shouldn’t waste time and do the legal procedure and should not wait for secretary level talks because most probably it will be a time wasting tactics of india like in the past they have done. The matter should be taken to the international court of law and if india fails to act on the verdict like these thugs have in the case of kashmir they have not acted on UNO resolutions otherwise we wouldn’t be having this problem, then we should get our Ghauris, and Shahabs ready to destroy the new dams and the baglihar dams as it would not be violation of law as india is refusing to honor the agreement. IT CLEARLY SHOWS CHANKIA HINDU BANYA MENTALITY THE BIGGEST EVER CONSPIRER AND THUG AND ALL TIME EPICENTER OF TERROR INDIA IS A THUG STATE AND ALL THE NATIONS IN THE WORLD SHOULD KICK THEIR ASS


    • A dam built for power generation has a large reservoir constructed for storing water at a height, and a power turbine to make use of the water as it comes out of the reservoir. Generating electricity necessarily means that water has to be let out continuously (to turn the turbine blades). As such stopping the flow of river water (which seems to be the main apprehension) would negate the whole purpose of the project.

      The seismic and environmental issues however, are very real and should be considered. All dams in India need approval of the environment ministry, which is supposed to check for environmental impact. If building the reservoir submerges an area of forest, regulations require that an equal area be planted elsewhere, and those displaced be recompensed.

  3. Hell to India and Indians they were are and will be the Cunning FOxes!!!

  4. Indians are playing a double game and while they will have to let out water for the sake of powee generation the impact on our river Chenab is already too visable. The river has dried out and there are now trees growing where there were heavy water flow just some years ago. Chenab hold a very significant place in the minds of Pakistani people and now the river is almost completely dried out already.

    India is out to get us and is now working to hurt us where is feels the most: to hurt our water supplies. Given our history and todays viotile situation Indians can not be trusted with managing our water.

    They WILL stop the rest of the small seasonal flow which is left of what used to be a massive river just some years ago. We have to remember that Pakistan has also used water for not only agricultural reasons but defence too. Now India has dealt with them bouth.

    This is such a serious question for us. Our country has been known as the Land of the Seven Rivers and already now there are trees growing in Chenab.

    For us this is more serious then anything we have ever fought for. We MUST destroy these dams ASAP using what ever at our hands (be it Mujahidens or a direct cruise missle attack) and show no tolerance when it come to our roti and rozi.

    Afsos keh jinn ligon nay ye problem solve karni hai wo wese he kissi our donya may magan hain. Do do hathon say loot rahay hain. Unn ko humaray future say kiya laggay.

    • This monsoon has been the worst in the last 37 years. There is a drought in most indian states. The himalayan rivers(including chenab) get much of their water from the monsoon rains. The flow of chenab has reduced drastically in Indian punjab also, and farms are working only because the irrigation system there is good.

      Please consider logically why would India want to deliberately starve Pakistan? Dont we have better things to do in our own country ? Risking present and future prosperity with a war against Pakistan(for water,kashmire,whatever) finds no supporters here.

      • Anirudh, I do not think you have even had the opportunity to see Chenab. Exactly where in East-Punjab does Chenab flow? It origionate in HP flows to J&K down to Punjab in Pakistan. Are you saying Indis is breaching the Indus Water Treaty by diverting the water to East-Punjab?

      • “Why would India want to deliberately starve Pakistan?”

        For the very same reason India occupied a Muslum majority province after agreing to the Muslim-Hindu partition plan in the 40’s, crossed the international border and invaded Pakistan in the 60’s, invaded again and broke up Pakistan in two in the 70’s, invaded and occupied Siachen
        in the 80’s, exploded and threathened
        with atom boms in the 90’s and
        massed a large army to our borders
        in the first decade of the 21’s centry and used Afghan soil to train terrorists to explode bombs across the Indus
        Vally in the very heart land of

        Did I miss the millions of people who were killed in the East-Punjab genocide? The 52 fully packed trains whose passengers were btchered down to the last man, woman and child? The Samjota Express which was bombed by Indian Military officials but blamed on the ISI like we would will our own children on their way home from India?

  5. Half a century may inn ki jorrat nahin hoa karti thi keh humaray pani ko haath laggain. Akhir kiya change ho gea keh Baniya Khatri sher-dil jo gay?

    Ye subb us beghairat dictator ki mehrbanian hai jis nay hummay itna kamzoor kar dia jab Kashmir jihad ki support band ki. Hum nay apnay feet peh khod axe mari hai. Hindustan ko patta hai keh Pakistan abb jang nahin bardasht kar sakta. Patta mahon kabb inn beghairat dictators our polititions say humari jaan chootay gi.

  6. chalo acha hai ye log arbon kharbon dollars kharch ker k dam banaenge aur hum aik do missiles mein puray dam ka kaam tamaam ker dein gay

    • aap yeh kyon nahi samajhte ki baat ek do missile tak nahi rukegi

    • HAHAHA… voh din pakistan ka aakhri din hoga…
      namakool 🙂 bechara pak aaj is buri halat mein isliye hain kyunki voh bus tod-fodh ke alawa kuch nahi kar sakta 🙂

      btw… what happened in 1999? why didnt you use your so called ‘state of the art’ misiles against India?

      Dar gaye the kya?

  7. I have a request to people here,please stop writing Urdu in English script that takes ages to read!.Show some commonsense and write in proper English or Urdu instead of behaving like freakin’ retards!

    • It is called Roman Urdu and it is a script every one understands. Having a problem reading it then just jump over it instead of complaining like a baby 🙂


      • I’m free to complain if i want it so shut it fella!.Either write in proper English or Urdu for F sake otherwise be happy to be a retard!!

      • Tumhari maa nay bohot borti tarbiyyat ki hai tumhari. BarraY batt-tamiz bachay ho! Tumharay jese galli galli may dhakkay kha rahay hotay hain jo topic ko parray hatta kay detail may phans jatay hai. Nalayk ulad!

        Hum to aaj kay baad Romam-Urdu may he baat karrain gay 🙂

  8. Humary logon aur Politiion ko Aman ki asha say fursat mile tu roti pani ka soochain,

  9. Billi thailay say bahar aagai hai. So the dialogue between india and pakistan is going to start and there is a news that india forced pak to drop interior and water ministry officials from the team of 8. It clearly shows that india is just back to its old dirty game of wasting time while continuing its terror activities in pakistan such as killing of two sikhs looks like a handy work of RAW. Secondly continuing its controversial dams while keeping pakistan busy in mazak rat. Our chief justice and the army chief should intervene and should make the government to look for other venues such as UNO and world bank for water theft by india. The thug state of india is a terrorist state would not understand the talk it needs kick in the butt so that’s what pakistan should do without wasting any more time should have contigency plan and if india is not tamed then our missiles should land on these dams as there would be no other option left.

  10. Fact is a final Indo-Pak war is inevitable and just a question of when not if it starts!.It’s gonna be ugly and bloody with perhaps millions perishing in the process!.War is always to be avoided but if thrusted upon us we should never be afraid to retaliate!

  11. HAHAHA….

    Why dont Pakistan nuke India because we might be making a dam?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: