January 2019 News

Pak Team In J&K To Inspect Hydel Projects

28 January 2019
The Tribune

Jammu: A high-level Pakistan delegation of experts on Monday evening arrived in J&K's Kishtwar district to inspect various power projects being built on the Chenab river basin under the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT). Sources said the three-member team, headed by Pakistan's Commissioner for Indus Waters Syed Mehr Ali Shah, will visit the site of the 1,000-MW Pakal Dul hydro-electric project (HEP) and 48-MW Lower Kalnai project in the Chenab region on Tuesday. 'They were scheduled to reach Kishtwar on Monday afternoon but got stuck in a traffic jam that delayed their arrival. They are scheduled to visit Pakal Dul HEP on Tuesday,' a senior police official said. The visit will conclude on January 31. The inspection is mandated under the treaty to resolve issues on the various hydro-electric projects. In August last year, India and Pakistan had high-level bilateral talks on the IWT to strengthen the role of the Permanent Indus Commission for matters under the 1960 treaty. After the talks, India had invited Pakistani experts to visit the sites of Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai projects to address Islamabad's concerns. Earlier, the inspection of the projects by Pakistani experts was scheduled in October last year but it was delayed because of urban local bodies and panchayat elections in the state. Under the treaty, both the commissions in India and Pakistan are mandated to inspect sites and works on both the sides of the Indus basin in a block of five years which ends in March 2020. Indus Waters Treaty : The Indus Waters Treaty was signed between the two countries in 1960 after Pakistan's fear that since the source rivers of the Indus basin are in India, it could potentially create droughts and famines in Pakistan during the times of war. According to the agreement, India has control over three eastern rivers - Beas, Ravi and Sutlej - all flowing from Punjab. Pakistan, as per the treaty, controls the western rivers of the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum that flow from J&K which has been demanding a review of the treaty as it deprives the state of its rights to use the water of the rivers.