India, Pakistan to resume Indus water parleys
The water commissioners of both India and Pakistan are required to meet twice a year and coordinate technical visits to project sites and critical river headworks.Updated: Aug 27, 2018 22:11 IST
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Pakistan is expected to raise objections to two water storage and hydropower projects being built by India at the upcoming meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission to be held in Lahore this week.
The meeting will also be the first, between both the countries, since the new government headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan assumed office.
Unnamed officials were quoted by the media saying that Pakistan will raise concerns over the construction of 1,000-MW Pakal Dul and 48-MW Lower Kalnai projects at the two-day talks beginning on Wednesday.
An official told Dawn newspaper that Pakistan will raise its concerns over the construction of the projects on the two tributaries of the Chenab river despite Islamabad’s objections to their designs.
Pakistan wants India to modify the designs to make them comply with the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 or put the projects on hold until New Delhi “satisfies” Islamabad, the report said.
The official said the two sides will also finalise the schedule for future meetings.
The water commissioners of both India and Pakistan are required to meet twice a year and coordinate technical visits to project sites and critical river headworks.
The two-day session is expected to discuss ways for timely and smooth sharing of hydrological data on the rivers shared by both the countries.
Pakistan has alleged that India began work on the Pakal Dul project in May without addressing its reservations.
The project is expected to be completed in 66 months.
Islamabad has objections to the pondage and freeboard of the Lower Kalnai project and pondage, filling criteria and spillway of the Pakal Dul project.
Pakal Dul is a storage-cum-power project and can have a gross storage of about 108,000 acre feet of water.
Under the Indus Waters Treaty, waters of the eastern rivers Sutlej, Beas and Ravi were allocated to India, while the western rivers Indus, Jhelum and Chenab to Pakistan.
Islamabad believes the Pakal Dul project’s reservoir violates the Indus treaty and had registered its objections at the last meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission held in New Delhi in March.
First Published: Aug 27, 2018 09:44 IST