Work on Wullar Barrage Resumes

Srinagar - Admitting that work on Wullar barrage in north Kashmir was stopped after militant attack, the government today said construction has been resumed now. "Our country is strong enough to take any challenge from any quarter which wanted us to stop the work on the barrage," Public Health Engineering (PHE) and Irrigation Minister Taj Mohiuddin informed the Assembly here today. The issue was raised by Prof Chaman Lal Gupta of BJP during Zero Hour who wanted to know if work on the barrage has been resumed after it was stopped when militants threatened contractors and workers last month. Prof Gupta said some people who had been sent by Pakistan raised "pro-Pak slogans", damaged machinery and threatened workers and contractors following which the work on the barrage was stopped. Mr Taj, in his reply stated that the attackers were militants.

He said the barrage was being constructed under provisions of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) which says that India can store water in lakes and other water bodies. There is absolutely no violation of the IWT, he declared in the House. "We are not weak to succumb to any pressure, he said and informed the House that work was going on. Mr Taj said the attack was taken as a challenge by the government, Army, CRPF and other security agencies who are defending those working on the project. He said contractors and workers, who were scared, were now slowly coming to work. The Minister said one CRPF company has been deployed there to instil confidence among the workers and contractors.

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