LAHORE: The Indus Waters Commissioners of Pakistan and India have shown flexibility on mutual issues pertaining to sharing of drawings of dam structures, mutual visits of dam sites and flood data sharing on release of water from India in Sutlej and Ravi rivers, said reliable sources.
According to sources, both the sides have agreed to improve mutual cooperation under the Indus Water Treaty, 1960. However, they added, the Indian side made it clear that visits to dam sites could be allowed subject to clearance of snow-laden routs and bilateral political normalcy. Also, no specific timeframe has been agreed on sharing of drawings of dams from the Indian side, they added.
So far as release of floodwater in River Ravi and River Sutlej was concerned, the sources said it was pointed out to the Indian side that beds of both the rivers have been encroached by thousands of families on Pakistani side because there is no water available in both the rivers under the treaty. However, the situation becomes risky when India releases floodwater to these rivers.
As per the agreement, the Indian side is bound to inform Pakistan about the release of floodwater when it is above 50,000 cusecs. Meanwhile, both the dwellers and their animals become insecure soon the water level reaches 25,000 cusecs. Therefore, Pakistan has requested the Indian delegation to share flood data well in time to save lives.
The Indus Waters Commissioners of Pakistan and India have concluded three days parleys last week on disputed projects and other water-related issues.
Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters PK Sexena along with his members of delegation attended the Islamabad 117th Meeting of Permanent Indus Commission, whereas, Pakistani delegation comprised Mehar Ali Shah, Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters and representatives of Wapda, Pakistan Met Department, Punjab Irrigation, NESPAK, MoFA, Flood Commission and officers of the PCIW.
The focus of the meeting was to discuss Pakistan’s observations on various Indian new run-of-river hydroelectric plants. The matter relating to sharing of flood information by the Indian side would also be one of the agenda items.
The agenda of meetings included finalization and signing of Record of 116th PICM, discussion on Pakistan’s objections on Tamasha HEP, Kalaroos-Il HEP, Baltikulan Small HEP, Durbuk Shyok HEP, Nimu Chilling HEP, Kiru HEP, Kargil Hunderman HEP, Phagla HEP, Kulan Ramwari HEP, and Mandi HEP, continued discussion on Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai Hydroelectric Plants, arrangement regarding communication of advance information of flood flows during the Flood Season 2022, maintaining free flow of water into river Sutlej, and programme of future meetings and tours of inspection of the PIC.
According to the sources, Pakistan has conveyed its concerns on the design of hydroelectric projects and other issues. Pakistan has sought details replies of questions, it raised on the projects in Held Kashmir. The India delegation has promised to send its comments on the queries of the Pakistani side, they added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022