Pak objection to India’s hydropower dam in J&K may be discussed at next IWT meet

Chenab river
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New Delhi– Pakistan’s objection to the design of the 624 MW power project over Chenab river in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir may be the topic of the next meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission as part of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT).

Pakistan’s Indus Commissioner Syed Muhammad Meher Ali Shah had raised objection to the design of the run-of-the-river Kiru project last week, a charge that has been denied by India’s Indus Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Saxena, who said it is fully compliant as per the provisions of the IWT.

The concrete gravity Kiru project is located in Kishtwar district of J&K. The Rs 4,287.59 crore (at 2018 level) project by Chenab Valley Power Projects Limited is a joint venture between the NHPC Ltd and Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC).

Under the 1960 vintage IWT, India and Pakistan share the waters of six rivers that flow through India towards Pakistan. Of these, India has complete rights over three eastern rivers – Sutlej, Beas and Ravi, while Pakistan has rights over the western rivers – Chenab, Jhelum and Indus.

India can, however, build run-of-the-river projects on the western rivers. Pakistan gets almost 80 per cent share of the Indus basin water (approx 135 MAF) against India’s 33 MAF.

“The next meeting (of the Permanent Indus Commission) is scheduled to be held in Pakistan. This topic will surely feature in that meeting. However, no date or month is fixed yet for the meeting and it depends on mutual convenience,” Saxena said.

Article VIII (5) of the IWT says, “The Commission shall meet regularly at least once a year, alternately in India and Pakistan.”

The most recent meeting was held in March 2021 in India. (IANS)


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