Pakistan seeks World Bank intervention over India’s Kishanganga dam

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—File Photo


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has notified World Bank about completion of India’s Kishanganga hydropower project despite the World Bank’s “pause” period and has urged it to “recognize their responsibility” under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).

World Bank which serves as a mediator between both the neighboring countries regarding the Indus Basin Water Treaty was approached by Pakistan while raising issues over that Kishanganga and Rattle hydro-power projects being built in Jammu and Kashmir

The issue was highlighting concern over designs of five Indian hydroelectricity projects that were being made/planned in the Indus River Basin and were violating the treaty.

Pakal Dul (1000 MW), Rattle (850 MW), Kishanganga (330 MW), Miyar (120 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48 MW) — were the projects highlighted which were insulated with violations.

Pakistan energy ministry’s power division sent another notice earlier this week to the World Bank’s vice president asking for their intervention to ensure that India abides by the 1960 treaty rules while building the projects.

Pakistani official stated that there was no doubt that India had gone forward and completed the Kishanganga project during the period when the World Bank “paused” the process for constitution of a Court of Arbitration (COA) as requested by Pakistan in early 2016.

“Since then, the bank has arranged two rounds of talks between the two sides but the Indians kept on building the project,” the report alleged. The last round of bank-facilitated and secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan was held in Washington in September that ended in disappointment for Pakistan, it said.

Pakistan had called for resolution of disputes in August last year that India had completed the Kishanganga project following the same design which was objected by Pakistan, the letter was sent to the World Bank following an incident where a Pakistani delegation gone to inspect was not allowed to visit various projects in India, including Kishanganga and Rattle schemes.

Pakistan had also raised objections over the design of a hydro project in Jammu and Kashmir, saying “it is not in line with the criteria laid down under the Indus Water Treaty between the two countries.”

India has, however, refused Pakistani concerns claiming that the project design is “well within parameters” of the treaty and urged the bank to appoint a neutral expert on the issue.

Under the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty, the waters of the eastern rivers—the Sutlej, Beas, and Ravi—had been allocated to India and that of the western rivers —the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab—to Pakistan.—NNI

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