Recently 116th Permanent Indus Commission meet was held on 23-24 March 2021, after a gap of over two years. Prior to this, Pakistan had raised objections to the designs of Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai hydropower plants which are under construction in the Union Territory Jammu & Kashmir. In response, India has justified its stand.

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

Pakal Dul Dam

Pakal Dul Dam is an under-construction concrete-face rock-fill dam. The Dam is being constructed on Marusadar River which is a tributary of Chenab River. The dam is located in Kishtwar district of Jammu & Kashmir. It is being constructed with the objective of generating 1000 Mega Watt of hydroelectric power. Pakal Dul Dam will divert water towards south, into power station of the reservoir of DULHasti Dam on Chenab river, through 10 kilometer 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

It flows in India and Pakistan and 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.

India justifies designs of the 2 Hydro Projects in J&K India justifies designs of the 2 Hydro Projects in J&K