Pak delegation visiting India to inspect Pakal Dul, Lower Kalnai hydel power projects
LAHORE: A three-member delegation, headed by Pakistan’s Commissioner for Indus Waters Syed Mehr Ali Shah, will be visiting India on Sunday to inspect the Pakal Dul dam and Lower Kalnai hydel power projects in Jammu and Kashmir, a media report said.
After the bilateral talks on the Indus Waters Treaty in August last year in Lahore, India rejected Pakistan’s objections on the construction of the 1,000MW Pakal Dul dam and 48MW Lower Kalnai hydropower projects on the Chenab river and invited Pakistani experts to visit the sites to address their concern.
“We are going to India on Sunday (today) via Wahga border,” Shah was quoted as saying in the Dawn.
The Pakistani delegation’s visit came after India’s Commissioner for Indus Waters Pradeep Kumar Saxena gave a nod for inspection of Indian hydro-power projects on Chenab basin from January 28 to January 31, earlier this month, it said.
India had scheduled inspection of the projects by Pakistani experts first in September and then in October. But, the visit was postponed due the Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir and then winter session of Indian Parliament, the report said.
The delegation would return to Pakistan on February 1, it added.
India and Pakistan signed the Indus Waters Treaty in 1960 after nine years of negotiations, with the World Bank being a signatory.
The water commissioners of Pakistan and India are required to meet twice a year and arrange technical visits to projects’ sites and critical river headworks.
Under the provisions of the Treaty, waters of the eastern rivers – Sutlej, Beas and Ravi – had ben allocated to India and the western rivers – the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab – to Pakistan, except for certain non-consumptive uses for India.
The treaty sets out a mechanism for cooperation and information exchange between the two countries regarding their use of the rivers. However, there have been disagreements and differences between India and Pakistan over the treaty.