The differences over five hydroelectric projects will likely be the key areas of discussion when Indus water commissioners of India and Pakistan meet in Islamabad next week.
Prodded by World Bank, which brokered the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) of 1960, the two sides seem to be again leaving it to their experts to discuss the technical issues related to water-sharing which often get tangled in hostility.
The commissioners will meet on March 21 and March 22. For the Indian side, the main issue is resolving differences the over Kishenganga and Ratle hydro power projects.
The two projects are being constructed on the Jhelum and Chenab rivers respectively. Pakistan while objecting to the design of the 330-MW Kishenganga project maintains it would result in a 40% reduction of water flowing into the country, which is the neighbour says is against the provisions of IWT, a charge denied by India.
For the 850 MW Ratle power plant, Pakistan wants the planned storage capacity of the project to be reduced from 24 million cubic metres to eight million cubic metres. Pakistan also wants the height of the dams to be further reduced.
But India maintains it never reduced the water flow to Pakistan.
Pakistan is set to raise issues related to three dams — 1000 MW Pakuldul on Chenab, 120 MW Miyar, located across Miyar Nalla which is a right bank main tributary of River Chenab and the 43 MW Lower Kalnai hydro project— on Lower Kalnai Nalla, a tributary of river Chenab. “Pakistan has listed these three projects in their agenda for discussion,” said a source.
Pakistan maintains the design of the 330MW Kishenganga project would result in 40% reduction in water flow into the country which is against the provisions of IWT, a charge denied by India.
For the 850 MW Ratle power plant, Pakistan wants the planned storage capacity to be reduced from 24 million cubic metres to eight million cubic metres.
However, India maintains it never reduced the water flow to Pakistan and the project is run of the river.