South Asia

Published: Friday 29 February 2008

baglihar inspection: Pakistan has said that it will inspect the Baglihar dam before it becomes operational. Spokesperson of Pakistan's foreign office, Mohammad Sadiq, said on January 30 that the Indus Basin Treaty Commissioner for Pakistan has contacted his Indian counterpart for this purpose and will see if India has complied with the World Bank neutral expert's verdict regarding the power project's design. The neutral expert had asked India to reduce the dam height by one and a half metres, which was originally proposed at 144.5 metres. Islamabad's demand comes after New Delhi said that the first phase of the 450-mw project on the river Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir will be commissioned by June 2008.

no poultry imports: Sri Lanka has banned imports of live birds and chicken from India in the wake of the bird flu outbreak in West Bengal. Authorities have also stepped up surveillance of migratory birds. Trained veterinary teams are collecting the saliva and droppings of migratory birds, while Customs officials are especially watchful of poultry imports and travellers with respiratory illnesses entering the country. Although there has been no case of H5N1 virus infection in poultry or humans, Sri Lanka is considered at high risk because all its neighbouring nations have already had significant avian flu outbreaks.

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