India justifies designs of the two Hydro Projects in J-K

The annual Permanent Indus Commission meeting was recently held after a gap of over two years. Before the meeting, Pakistan had raised objections to the designs of Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai hydropower plants which are under construction in Jammu and Kashmir. In response, India has justified its stand.

Highlights

Pakistan had also sought more information regarding the projects in Ladakh which were sanctioned after abrogation of Article 370. In the meeting, both the sides also discussed other issues under Indus Waters Treaty. Indian side was led by PK Saxena, India’s Indus Commissioner while the delegation from Pakistan was led by Indus Commissioner Syed Muhammad Meher Ali Shah. The meeting was significant because this is the first important engagement between both the countries after Indian and Pakistani militaries had announced to strictly observe a ceasefire along Line of Control and other sectors.

Pakal Dul Dam

This is an under-construction concrete-face rock-fill dam. It is being constructed on Marusadar River which is a tributary of Chenab River. The dam is located in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir. It is being constructed with the objective of generating 1000 MW of hydroelectric power. The dam will divert water towards south, into power station of the reservoir of DULHasti Dam on Chenab river, through 10 km long headrace tunnel. The project was awarded to consortium of domestic and foreign countries in February 2014.  The consortium includes JP Prakash Associate, AFCONS and Bharat Heavy Electricals. Construction of the dam is opposed by Pakistan which is of the view that it violates Indus Water Treaty.

Chenab River

The river flows in India and Pakistan. It is one of the 5 major rivers in Punjab region. The river originates from upper Himalayas in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh and flows in Jammu, Punjab & Pakistan, before joining the Indus River near Uch Sharif. Under the Indus Water Treaty, waters of river Chenab were allocated to Pakistan.

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