Pak team inspects Pakal Dul HeP project in J-K’s Kishtwar district

JAMMU: A high-level team of Pakistani experts inspected the 1000 MW Pakal Dul hydroelectric power project being built on the Chenab river basin in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district Tuesday under the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), officials said.
The three-member team, headed by Pakistan’s Commissioner for Indus Waters Syed Mehr Ali Shah, visited the site of the 1,000-MW Pakal Dul hydroelectric project (HEP), they said.
The team, which arrived in Jammu on Monday, reached Kishtwar late in the evening, the officials said.
The inspection is mandated under the treaty to resolve issues on the various hydro-electric projects.

In August last year, India and Pakistan had high-level bilateral talks on the IWT to strengthen the role of the Permanent Indus Commission for matters under the 1960 treaty.
After the talks, India had invited Pakistani experts to visit the sites of Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai projects to address Islamabad’s concerns.
This tour is an obligation imposed on both the countries by the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 between India and Pakistan and under the treaty, both the commissioners are mandated to inspect sites and works on both the sides of Indus basin in a block of five years, a senior official had said.
Since signing the treaty, a total of 118 such tours on both the sides have been undertaken by the commission.

The last tours of the commission in Pakistan and India were held in July 2013 and September 2014, respectively.
No tour could be held so far in the current five years block which ends in March 2020.
This tour will be followed by a visit of Indian Indus Commissioner to Pakistan at a mutually convenient date decided between the two commissioners, the official added.
This tour was originally scheduled in October 2018 but later postponed because of the local bodies and panchayat polls in J&K.
Under the Indus Waters Treaty, waters flowing in three of Indus tributaries — the Sutlej, the Beas and the Ravi — have been allotted to India; while the Chenab, Jhelum and Indus waters have been allotted to Pakistan. PTI

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