–Pakistan has repeatedly asked India to notify release of water from Salal instead of Akhnor in Jammu
LAHORE: India has ignored Pakistan’s request for prior intimation before it releases water into Chenab River thus rendering authorities here helpless in taking timely preventive measures against flooding, Pakistan Today has learnt.
It was also reported that there was a flood indication and warning for releasing of water which was issued three days ago. Pakistan had asked India to intimate the water level in River Chenab for the flood from Salal instead of Akhnor in Jammu so that necessary measures are taken in order to secure the area likely to be affected by the flood. However, despite the requests, India refused to intimate from Salal.
The request was made because Akhnor is only 40 kilometres away from Head Marala and it takes only three hours for the flood water to reach Pakistan, whereas Salal is more than 131 kilometres away from Head Marala, thus giving Pakistan a head start of almost eight hours.
Pakistan Today has learnt that presently the water flow is passing through Qadirabad Barrage and the water level of River Chenab is rising.
It is worth mentioning here that in 2017 during the 113th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission, the Pakistani side demanded from India to provide the outflows from Baglihar and Salal dams on the Chenab River during the flood season to help in issuing early flood warnings. The Indian side had agreed to consider Pakistan’s request and it was expected that India would start providing the required data starting from the coming flood season.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Chief Met Officer Riaz Khan said that according to the Indus Water Commission, the information of releasing the water in River Chenab was to be given from Akhnor, but in several meetings, we have raised this point that we should be intimated from Salal so that we can manage and control the situation arising out of flood.
“Salal is upstream and quite far away from Chenab and if we are informed from this point we can get more than eight hours to take safety measure and alert the locals as well. Despite several requests, we have not been informed from Salal,” he said.
Riaz Khan said that they make their own assessments and analysis prior to the intimation from India and develop their safety systems to control flood.
“We were invited to attend last year’s meeting of Indus Water Commission and we had requested again that keeping in view regional cooperation and empathy, India should inform us about releasing of water from the upstream areas rather than Akhnor,” he said.
Meanwhile, a flood situation has developed in Punjab following the flood alert issued by the Met Office reasoning high levels of water in Chenab, Indus and Jhelum. Danger level (very high flood) was reported by the department at various stations, including Mangla and Marala.