In­dia mulling build­ing 250 dams over Chenab

The Pak Banker - - 2 National -

LA­HORE: The Prime Min­ster of Azad Jammu and Kash­mir Sar­dar At­tique Ah­mad Khan has said that In­dia is plan­ning to con­struct about 250 small and mega dams over river Chenab that would ag­gra­vate wa­ter sit­u­a­tion.

"If the in­flows in the rivers con­tinue to de­cline, peo­ple in the cities like La­hore and Karachi may face the ra­tioning of wa­ter in near fu­ture."

The AJK Prime Min­is­ter was speak­ing at the La­hore Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try on Wed­nes­day. LCCI Pres­i­dent Shahzad Ali Ma­lik, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent Sheikh Mo­ham­mad Arshad and Vice Pres­i­dent So­hail Azhar also spoke on the oc­ca­sion. Sar­dar At­tique Ah­mad Khan said that Azad Jammu and Kash­mir had hy­del power po­ten­tial of 18,000 megawatt which needs to be har­nessed. He said that af­ter up­rais­ing of Mangla dam, work on the con­struc­tion of 1000 megawatt NeelumJhelum Val­ley Hy­del Power Project has been ini­ti­ated. He said that some 301 points on the wa­ter chan­nels in Azad Kash­mir had been iden­ti­fied for the gen­er­a­tion of hy­del power while work was in progress at 26 lo­ca­tions.

Ex­tend­ing an olive branch to the outer world, he said that con­flict had never been a so­lu­tion of prob­lems. Only ne­go­ti­a­tions can bring peace to the re­gion. He in­vited the La­hore busi­ness com­mu­nity to in­vest in Azad Jammu and Kash­mir as the state govern­ment was com­mit­ted to fa­cil­i­tate the lo­cal and for­eign in­vestors.

He said that the Azad Jammu and Kash­mir had in­her­ent eco­nomic po­ten­tial to cater to the needs of en­tire South Asia. He said that his pro­posal to con­vert Line of Con­trol into func­tional Line of Com­merce has started giv­ing rich divi- dends and hoped that such an ac­tiv­ity would help bring down tem­pers in the re­gion. He said that there was huge po­ten­tial in the fields of re­li­gious tourism, medic­i­nal herbs and tim­ber. He said that his govern­ment has de­signed such an in­vest­ment pro­tec­tion pol­icy which will pro­mote in­ter­na­tional in­vest­ment in AJK.

Sar­dar At­tique Ah­mad Khan said that eco­nomic revo­lu­tion would be brought into Azad Jammu & Kash­mir through pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ship. He said that the present AJK govern­ment will bring pos­i­tive eco­nomic changes through in­vest­ment on large scale. Due to this, econ­omy of AJK will progress and peo­ple will also be­come pros­per­ous.

The LCCI Pres­i­dent said that an LCCI del­e­ga­tion would soon visit Azad Jammu and Kash­mir with an ob­jec­tive of fur­ther strength­en­ing the ex­ist­ing trade re­la­tions. -App

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