At a meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) held on March 23 and 24, India conveyed to Pakistan that Pakal Dul (1000 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48 MW) hydropower projects in Jammu and Kashmir are fully compliant with the provisions of the 'Indus Water Treaty.' It also provided technical data to support the statement after Pakistan raised objections over the designs of these two projects.
The annual meeting of the PIC, comprising of Indus Commissioners of India and Pakistan concluded in New Delhi on Wednesday. Under the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1960, the two Commissioners are required to meet every year, alternately in India and Pakistan. Last year, the meeting could be cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.
"Discussions continued on designs of two Indian projects, namely, Pakal Dul (1000 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48 MW). Indian side held that these projects are fully compliant with the provisions of the Treaty and provided technical data in support of its position," a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs said.
It said the Pakistan side requested India for sharing additional information on the design of other hydropower projects to be developed in Ladakh after the abrogation of Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. India has assured that the information will be provided as and when required to be supplied under the provisions of the Treaty.
Ever since India bifurcated the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into union territories in 2019, several hydropower projects have been approved to be developed in the region.
The release said that the meeting was held in a cordial manner and both commissioners reaffirmed their commitment to interact more frequently to resolve the issues under the Treaty. It was also agreed that the next meeting of PIC would be held in Islamabad on mutually convenient dates.
Surviving three wars, the Indus Water treaty (IWT) has been adhered to by all 14 Prime Ministers of India. The treaty was signed during the tenure of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Under the treaty, all the waters of the eastern rivers -- Sutlej, Beas, and Ravi -- are allocated to India for unrestricted use, while the western rivers -- Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab -- are assigned largely to Pakistan.
(With inputs from agency)
(Image credits: ANI)