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Indus Waters Treaty: India, Pakistan hold 116th Meeting of Permanent Indus Commission

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Indus waters treaty India, Pakistan hold talks after 2 years newIndia & Pakistan held the 116th Meeting of Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) at New Delhi from March 23-24, 2021.

  • The Indian side was led by Pradeep Kumar Saxena, India’s commissioner for IWT & advisors from Central Water Commission, the Central Electricity Authority and the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation.
  • The Pakistan side was led by Syed Muhammad Meher Ali Shah, Pakistan’s commissioner for IWT.
  • The last meeting between the two sides under IWT took place in Lahore in August, 2018.
  • The meeting coincided with the Pakistan Day (Pakistan Resolution Day or Republic Day) being celebrated on March 23, 2021.

Pakistan’s Objections

During the meeting, Pakistan raised objections over the designs of 2 Hydroelectric projects in J&K – Pakal Dul Hydro Electric Project & Lower Kalnai Project.

  • Pakal Dul Hydro Electric Project (1, 000 MW) is proposed on the Marusudar river, a tributary of the Chenab river, in Kishtwar district in J&K.
  • Lower Kalnai project (48 MW) is proposed in Kishtwar & Doda districts over Chenab River.
  • It also raised objections on the hydroelectric projects in Ladakh.
  • Pakistan has also been raising objections to the construction of Hydroelectric plants such as Kishanganga (330 MW) on Kishanganga river & Ratle (850 MW) on Chenab River.

Indus Waters Treaty (IWT)

  • A water-distribution treaty brokered by the World Bank between India & Pakistan. It was signed in Karachi, Pakistan in 1960 by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru & Pakistani President Ayub Khan.
  • Purpose – To use the water available in Indus River and its tributaries.
  • IWT warrants two commissioners (each from two countries) to meet at least once a year, alternately in India & Pakistan.

Rights over Waters & Hydroelectricity

According to the treaty,

  • All the waters of the Eastern rivers – Sutlej, Beas, and Ravi amounting to around 33 Million Acre Feet (MAF) annually will be allocated to India for unrestricted use.
  • All the waters of the Western rivers – Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab amounting to around 135 MAF is allocated to Pakistan.
  • The treaty also gives India the right to generate hydroelectricity through run of the river projects on the western rivers subject to specific criteria for design and operation.
  • It also gives the right to Pakistan to raise objections on design of Indian Hydroelectric Projects on Western Rivers.

India’s Hydroelectric projects in Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir

India has cleared several hydropower projects in the region of Ladakh and J&K post 2019.

  • Durbuk-Shyok (19MW), Shankoo (18.5 MW), Nimu Chilling (24MW), Rongdo (12 MW), Ratan Nag (10.5 MW) Hydropower Projects in Leh.
  • Mangdum Sangra (19 MW), Kargil Hunderman (25MW) & Tamasha (12 MW) Hydropower projects in Kargil.

Recent Related News:

i.On 7th July 2020, Pakistan and Gezhouba Group Company Limited of China signed an Engineer Procurement and Contract (EPC) agreement for the 700 MW Azad Pattan Hydel Power Project on Jhelum River in the Sudhnoti District of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

About Pakistan:

Prime Minister – Imran Khan
Capital – Islamabad
Currency – Pakistani Rupee (PKR)