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Pakistan objects to three Indian projects on Chenab

26 March, 2013

LAHORE: Pakistan has raised technical objections to three hydropower projects being constructed by India on River Chenab, terming their various design parameters a violation of the Indus Waters Treaty during talks held at the platform of Indus water Commission with the visiting Indian delegation.

A 10-member delegation, led by Indian Commissioner for Indus Water Arunganathan, held talks here in the provincial metropolis with Pakistan delegation, headed by Asif Baig, Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Water.

Members of Pakistan delegation were of the view that Indian projects of 850MW Rattle, 120MW Miyar and 48MW Lower Karnai were controversial and were being constructed in sheer violation of the treaty. The main objection was building storage capacity as a component of run-of-river project.

The Pakistani commissioner asked his Indian counterpart to amend the engineering design of project in line with the provisions of Indus Waters Treaty otherwise Pakistan would refer the issue to Court of Arbitration.

The Pakistani delegation observed that 48MW Kalnai Hydroelectric Project could allow India to utilize the stream flows of the Lower Kalnai River, a tributary of the Chenab River, in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir. They said India would be able to divert the water of Chenab river if the project was completed as per design. The Water of Chenab tributary was proposed to be diverted through a Water Conductor System. A Power House was proposed on the left bank of Lower Kalnai River about 200m upstream of its confluence with Chenab river.

The 850MW Rattle Hydropower plant also includes storage element, which is not allowed as per provisions of the Indus Water Treaty. The Miyar plant was planned on the right bank of the Chenab river near Udaipur town.

According to the Treaty, signed between Pakistan and India in 1960, Pakistan was allowed to use the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab rivers, while India was allowed to use Ravi, Sutlej and Beas.

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