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World Bank verdict on Baglihar a win-win situation: J&K CM

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
February 13, 2007 21:53 IST
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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday described the World Bank verdict on the Baglihar power project as a win-win situation for both India and Pakistan.

Hours after the verdict was announced, Azad visited the dam site in the mountainous Doda district and met the engineers and workers who were jubilant at the verdict by the World Bank appointed arbitrator Prof Raymond Lafitte.

The chief minister, who visited various sections of the project on Tuesday, said the "real beneficiaries of the verdict were the people of the state who would benefit in terms of power generation of which the state is short round the year and has to import power at exorbitant rates."

The verdict, he said, has enabled the state to continue work on the prestigious two-phased 900 MW power project being built on the mighty Chenab river originating in the Himalayas.

Azad was received by a 6,000-strong work force at the dam site whose faces were aglow with the news.

The first phase of 450 MW, which was slated to go operational in December 2006, has been re-scheduled to become operational in December 2007 following damage to its tunnels during the 2005 floods.

"The February 12 verdict shall prove a new landmark in our zest for tapping hydro treasure in future," Azad said.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar