Reports yesterday said a diversion tunnel collapsed at the site of the controversial 450MW project, due to rising water levels in the Chenab river at Chanderkote in Jammu and Kashmir, and that work was being suspended.

But the spokesman emphasised that construction is going on as scheduled and necessary measures have already been put in place to protect the project’s permanent structures.

The water level of the Chenab had risen from 6.7 to 10.4m – only 4m below the danger level. The spokesman attributed the rising water levels to the unprecedented rainfall and snowfall in northern India during January and February, with the arrival of the summer’s heat melting the snow and leading to the river flooding.

Baglihar dam has been at the centre of a disagreement between India and Pakistan over the distribution of waters from the neighbouring countries’ shared rivers.

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