New Delhi: A delegation of officials from India and Pakistani on Thursday, concluded an inspection of two hydel power projects on the Chenab river basin as part of the bilateral Indus Water Treaty.
The delegations returned to New Delhi on Thursday evening after undertaking a tour of the Chenab river basin in Jammu and Kashmir. The Pakistani delegation is scheduled to return to Pakistan tomorrow.
Pakistan’s Indus Commissioner Syed Mohammad Mehar Ali Shah and Indian Commissioner PK Saxena accompanied by their respective advisers visited the under-construction Indian hydropower projects – Pakal Dul (1000MW), Ratle (850 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48MW).
This tour is an obligation imposed on both the countries by the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan, which mandates both the commissioners to undertake, once in every five years, a general tour of inspection of the rivers to ascertain facts connected with various developments and works on the rivers on both sides.
The treaty specifies that the waters of three eastern rivers – Ravi, Beas and Sutlej- have been reserved for India while that of western rivers- Indus, Chenab and Jhelum- are for Pakistan.
However, India claims it has unrestricted rights to develop hydroelectric power projects on the western rivers within the specified parameters of the design.
Pakistan says that the design of two under-construction hydroelectric projects Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai violate the river water treaty, while Indian officials insist on their right to build these projects and hold that their design is fully in compliance with the guidelines of the treaty.
The Pakistani Commissioner further extended an invitation to his counterpart to undertake a visit of Indus basin on Pakistan side. The visit of the Indian Commissioner and his advisers shall be undertaken in Pakistan at a mutually convenient date to be decided between the two Commissioners.