Indus Water Treaty: Neutral expert of World Bank, delegation of India, Pak to have 12-day visit to J&K

Wajahat Shabir. Updated: 6/16/2024 2:21:44 AM Front Page

Delegation to inspect HPPE, address disputes amid heightened tensions over water sharing rights

SRINAGAR: Neutral experts of the World Bank, along with the delegation of India and Pakistan, are all set to visit Jammu and Kashmir on the Indus Water Treaty for 12 days.
During the 12-day visit commencing from 17th June to 28th June, the experts and delegation will examine the construction of hydroelectric projects on the Chenab and other rivers and also deliberate on the disputes raised by Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir government, in an order, has appointed 50 liaison officers, 25 each in Jammu and the Kashmir valley, for protocol purposes with the delegation.
In view of the visit of Neutral experts along with delegations from India and Pakistan to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, with effect from 17th June to 28th June, the following JKAS officers are hereby appointed as liaison officers, reads the order issued by Sanjeev Verma, Commissioner/Secretary to the Government.
Further, the above officers are directed to report to the office of Managing Director, Jammu and Kashmir, Power Development Corporation, Jammu/Srinagar, respectively, for briefing about the duties and responsibilities during the above-said date, it added.
The IWT signed by India and Pakistan in 1960 allocates the three Western Rivers, Indus, Jhelum and Chenab to Pakistan and the Eastern Rivers, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej to India. The treaty allows each country certain uses on the rivers allocated to the other.
While the Indus originates and flows to Pakistan through Ladakh, Jhelum flows from Kashmir, and Chenab originates in the Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, from where it flows to the Jammu region and then to Pakistan.
India is building several hydroelectric projects on the Chenab, and the earlier objections of Pakistan, particularly on the height of the dam of some of these projects, were overruled by the World Bank, which is an arbitrator for resolving such disputes.
Pakistan had some time ago raised disputes over the design features of the Kishenganga 330 megawatts and Ratle 850 megawatts hydroelectric projects. These projects are on the tributary of Jhelum and on the Chenab.
The World Bank in 2022 appointed a neutral expert, Michel Lino and a chairman of the court of arbitration, Sean Murphy.
In 2015, Pakistan requested the appointment of a neutral expert to examine its technical objections to India's Kishenganga and Ratle Hydro Electric Projects (HEPs). India, in turn, made a separate request for a neutral expert to address the matter.
In 2023, India reportedly asked Pakistan to renegotiate the treaty saying that Pakistan was repeatedly indulging in actions that are against the spirit and objective of the Treaty. Pakistan responded by saying that it can not take the risk of abrogation of IWT being a lower riparian party.

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