India invites Pakistan experts to hydroelectric project sites in J&K

‘Invite as per the provisions of the Indus treaty’

August 31, 2018 10:24 pm | Updated 10:24 pm IST - NEW DELHI

India has invited Pakistan to visit sites of the Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnal hydroelectric projects on the Chenab.

India and Pakistan concluded the 115th meeting of the India-Pakistan Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) in Lahore from August 29-30. The Indian delegation was led by P.K. Saxena, the Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters. He wasn’t immediately available for comment.

“Yes we have asked them to visit. But this according to existing provisions of the treaty,” U.P. Singh, Secretary, Union Water Resources Ministry, told The Hindu .

As per the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960, technical discussions were held on implementation of various hydroelectric projects including Pakal Dul (1000 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48 MW) in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Both the countries agreed to undertake the Treaty-mandated tours of both the Indus Commissioners in the Indus basin on both sides. Deliberations were also held on further strengthening the role of the Permanent Indus Commission for matters under the Treaty,” said a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs. Though a routine affair, the talks in Lahore were the first bilateral engagement between India and Pakistan since Prime Minister Imran Khan took office. The last meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission was held in New Delhi in March.

The 1960 Treaty, brokered by the World Bank and signed by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan’s President Ayub Khan, administers how the waters of the Indus and its tributaries that flow in both the countries will be utilised.

Under the provisions of the Treaty, waters of the eastern rivers — Sutlej, Beas and Ravi — had been allocated to India and the western rivers — the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab — to Pakistan, except for certain non-consumptive uses for India.

(With PTI inputs )

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