Pakistani delegation visits Jammu’s Kishtwar to inspect Hydropower Projects under Indus Water Treaty

Key Highlights

A five-member Pakistani delegation arrived to inspect two hydropower projects:

  • Ratle Hydroelectric Power Project: Located on the Chenab River.
  • Pakal Dul Project: Situated on the Marusudar River, a tributary of the Chenab River
  • Delegates from India, Pakistan, and neutral experts from the World Bank visited the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) headquarters in Kishtwar. 
  • This visit falls under the dispute resolution mechanism of the IWT, a 1960 treaty governing water sharing from the Indus River system.

Background and Dispute Resolution:

  • In September 2023, a neutral expert from the World Bank, appointed at India’s request, initiated a meeting under the IWT framework.
  • Pakistan has previously raised objections to the technical aspects of the Kishenganga and Ratle projects. India has contested these objections and parallel proceedings initiated by Pakistan.
  • The Jammu & Kashmir government has appointed 25 liaison officers for the neutral experts and delegates from both countries. 

Pakistan Objections to Hydropower Projects

  • Pakistan has formally raised objections over the 1,000 MW Pakal Dul and 48 MW Lower Kalnai hydropower projects and has flagged concerns about other projects in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. 
  • These include 10 hydroelectric power projects: Durbuk Shyok, Nimu Chilling, Kiru, Tamasha, Kalaroos-II, Baltikulan Small, Kargil Hunderman, Phagla, Kulan Ramwari, and Mandi.

About the Indus Water Treaty (IWT)

  • IWT is a significant agreement between India and Pakistan concerning the sharing of water resources from the Indus River system.
  • It was Negotiated by the World Bank in 1960, it aimed to address water disputes arising from the 1947 partition of India.
  • Water Sharing: The treaty allocates control of the Indus River system’s water resources.
  • India: Full rights over the three eastern rivers – Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej.
  • Pakistan: Control over the three western rivers – Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab.
  • Limited Use for India: India has limited rights to use the western rivers for specific purposes like domestic use, irrigation, and power generation that doesn’t significantly reduce water flow.
  • Dispute Resolution: A Permanent Indus Commission was established to manage any disputes arising from water sharing and ensure cooperation between the two countries.

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