In Muzaffarabad city of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), residents are protesting against China and Pakistan for illegal construction of Dams on the Jhelum and Neelam rivers. On 6th July, The residents held a massive rally to condemn the construction of Dams for Neelum Jhelum and Kohala Hydropower projects.
China is trying to control waters
It is reported that the residents of the area are against the economic, environmental and demographic impacts of the massive construction projects. They say thay the regions are being exploited by the Pakistani government and the Chinese. The workers and labourers are not locals and the benefits are reaped by China while local resources are depleted.
The protesters said that there is an environmental impact of the dams being constructed by Pakistan and China. A Twitter trend with hashtag #SaveRiversSaveAJK was launched to highlight the issue in front of the world. The protesters have asked the Pakistan government under which law they are constructing a dam in a disputed region.
They claim that Pakistan and China have violated UN Security Council resolutions by occupying rivers. ANI quoted one protester saying, “We should march towards Kohala project and continue protest there until it does not stop.”
As per the reports, an agreement was signed between the governments of Pakistan and China along with a Chinese company to construct 1,124-megawatt hydropower project in Kohala that will cost 2.4 billion dollars.
The dam project on the Jhelum river was awarded to Kohala Hydropower Company Ltd (KHCL), a subsidiary of China’s Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC). It is being built under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).