Pakistan, India to hold water talks on March 23 in New Delhi

IndusWater

Islamabad – Staff Reporter:

Pakistan’s Indus Water Commission will raise the issue of controversial hydropower projects built on the Chenab River by India during the annual meeting of the commission on March 23-24.

Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters (PCIW) Syed Muhammad Mehr Ali Shah said that the Pakistani delegation will leave for New Delhi on March 22 where the meeting would take place. Shah will head the Pakistani delegation whereas the Indian side will be led by PK Saxena.

“Controversial projects of 1000 MW Pakkal Dal and 48 MW Lower Kalnai will be discussed during the two-day meeting. Pakistan has already raised objections to the design of these projects,” he said, adding that two more water projects -Darbuk and Nemochaling – will also come under discussion.

The top official of the Indus Water Commission said that the issue of delaying flood data will also be raised with New Delhi.

“India has been violating Indus Basin Agreement in providing flood data for 2 years. Pakistan wants daily flood data from July 1 to October 10,” Mehar noted.

The Pakistani delegation will include representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, WAPDA, Meteorology, Attorney General’s Office, and Irrigation Department.

The meeting is taking place after a hiatus of nearly three years. The last meeting was held in Lahore in August 2018.

The last year’s meeting, which was earlier scheduled to be held in New Delhi in March 2020, was cancelled in view of the pandemic situation.

Under the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty, both the commissioners are required to meet at least once a year alternately in India and Pakistan.