There is some forward movement in the discussion on the four projects in the Chenab basin after the recent visit of the Pakistan Water Commission for Indus to New Delhi and India has put forward its views more clearly, according to commissioner Mirza Asif Baig.
Mr. Baig told The Hindu on Saturday that four projects, especially the Ratle hydroelectric project, were under discussion and Pakistan had asked for changes in the design with reference to the spillway and pondage which affects the intake location. Mr. Baig clarified that the designs of the four projects were according to those specified in the Indus Water Treaty and there was no violation.
The discussion is likely to continue in December, he added. Pakistan was evaluating the Indian response in the meanwhile.
According to a written reply in the National Assembly on Thursday, there are six projects where there are disputes or there is discussion between India and Pakistan. In addition to the older issues of Kishenganga and Wullar Barrage, there are four run-of-the-river projects under discussion at the level of the Permanent Indus Commission. These are the Ratle project, Miyar dam, Lower Kalnai and Pakal Dul projects.
The reply said the designs of these projects were provided by India a year ago. Pakistan has been asking for India to provide information of its projects at the planning state but India did not do so under the Indus Treaty.
Pakistan has objected to the design of the Ratle project, while on the remaining three, objections are of a minor nature and hopefully would be resolved in the PIC.
Under the provision of the Indus Water Treaty 1960, the waters of the eastern rivers Sutlej, Beas and Ravi have been allocated to India and the western rivers Indus, Jhelum and Chenab have been allocated to Pakistan except for certain uses allowed to India which include generation of hydro power through run of the river plants.