Chandigarh/Nangal: The 225-metre high Bhakra Dam is high on the latest hitlist of Pakistan-based terrorist outfits like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), specific intelligence reports have said.

The Intelligence Bureau (IB), in its latest report to various security agencies, including the Himachal and Punjab Police, has said that Pakistan-based terror outfits were specifically training their cadres in cliff-climbing, swimming across water channels and handling explosives with the intention to attack the dam, located near the border between Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

“A number of intelligence inputs indicate that the Bhakra Dam is one of the most preferred targets of Pak-based terrorist organisations. Reportedly, the LeT has also been training its cadres on aspects like cliff-climbing, swimming across water channels and handling of explosives with the intention to target major dams in India, particularly those located in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh,” stated the IB report.

“Recently, Pak-based terrorist outfits like the JuD/LeT have been raising the emotive issue of water sharing between India and Pakistan and allege that India has been appropriating major share of water from rivers flowing into Pakistan by constructing various dams. The Bhakra Dam figures prominently on their target list due to its economic importance and potential for large-scale damage on the downstream,” the report has warned. 

The report said the Bhakra Dam, India's first and biggest hydro-electric project which was described by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as the 'temple of resurgent India'.

The IB said that security measures and equipment at the Bhakra Dam were currently grossly inadequate. It said that the dam's security was being handled by multiple agencies 'leading to confusion and dilution of responsibility. There should be a single agency responsible for security of the entire project'.  The security of the landmark dam is being looked after by central para-military forces and aided by the Himachal and Punjab Police.

“The dam also needs to be secured from underwater threat. Sensors, sonars and underwater cameras may be considered for the purpose,” the report said, adding that divers should periodically check underwater for any unwanted activity. 

While suggesting greater manpower and technology need at the dam immediately, the IB report has even suggested more watch-towers, cameras for all areas and speedboats for security personnel to ward off any threat.