India to build another dam on Chenab in violation of Indus Water Treaty

Islamabad: India has again violated the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) by announcing 540 MW ‘Kwar hydro-electric project’ located on Chenab River. Pakistan’s water authorities have expressed reservations over the Indian decision of the hydro-electric project over Chenab River.

According to reports, India’s federal cabinet approved Rs4,526.12 crore for the 540MW project being built in Kishtwar district of IIOJK. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Indian Prime Minister Modi on 27 April 2022. Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Water would write a letter to his counterpart over the illegal construction of the water project. It may be noted that under the Indus Waters Treaty, the two countries share the waters of six rivers in the Indus Basin.

Pakistan has extensive rights over the western rivers including Chenab, Jhelum, and Indus while India has rights over three eastern rivers including Sutlej, Beas and Ravi. Under the Indus Water Treaty, India is bound to inform Pakistan, six months before initiating a new project over the western rivers including Chenab, Jhelum, and Indus.

Whereas, India has put on hold water talks with Pakistan and has not decided whether to attend or not an upcoming bilateral moot planned to be held in May 2022. India, in the last bilateral meeting in March, had agreed to hold further discussion on water issues in May. However, there is no agreement yet over dates and the agenda of the proposed meeting.

On the other hand, Pakistan takes it as a violation of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) by launching the construction of the 540 MW ‘Kwar hydro-electric project’ on Chenab River. The authorities have expressed reservations over Indian decision of granting approval and sanctioning funds for the hydro-electric project on the Chenab, terming it a unilateral move. As per the Treaty provisions, Pakistan enjoys exclusive rights over water resources of rivers, including the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab, except limited diversion for domestic and irrigation use in IIOJ&K. Web Desk

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