ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 15th August, 2016) Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali on Monday said it is a fact that India is not fully abiding by the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 in its true letter and spirit. Replaying to a question in the National Assembly, the minister said that Pakistan has taken up its issues in the Court of Arbitration and the present government was perusing the matter positively.
He said at present, India is constructing a number of run-of-river hydroelectric plants on the Western Rivers, the designs of these plants are mostly in violation of the design criteria specified by the Indus Waters Treaty 1960. Much higher than the permissible pondage, lower intakes and deep orifice spillways, which are the usual features of Indian designs, provide India excessive control which is against the explicit provisions of the Treaty, he added.
He told that the government of Pakistan, however, is fully aware of the plan of Indian development on the waters of Western Rivers. He said in accordance with the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960, the steps are continually being taken to check the features of all the Indian projects, the information of which have formally been provided by India to Pakistan so as to see whether or not the design of such projects falls in accordance with the requirements of Indus Waters Treaty 1960.
The minister told the NA that in all cases where the violations are being noticed, the issues are being taken up with India for amicable resolution at the level of Permanent Indus Commission (PIC). In case of no cooperation by India at the level of PIC, the further steps, such as the reference of the matter to both the governments, as provided for in the Treaty, are being taken. In case of failure at the level of both the governments the cases where needed are referred to the World Bank for appointment of Neutral Experts or the Court of Arbitration as per the provisions of the Treaty, he said.
Abid Sher Ali said that recent case of Kishenganga Hydroelectric Plant and Ratle Hydroelectric Plant is one of such instance where the case of technical objections on both of these projects is eventually being taken for the third party arbitration. He said during the last three years, Pakistan has been able to get the decision from the Court of Arbitration in the case of Kishenganga HEP regarding the issues of draw-down below the dead storage level and that of the environmental flows. This case was taken to the Court of Arbitration in the year 2010 and final award was announced in December, 2013, he said. He said no resolution of any issue, however, has bilaterally been achieved.