No major headway in Indo-Pak talks on water sharing issue
New Delhi: No major headway was made between India and Pakistan on the water sharing issue during talks which concluded on Wednesday, barely three days ahead of a meeting between their Prime Ministers in New York.
During the four-day deliberations, both the sides exchanged views on four contentious projects, including Pakistan`s objection to 850 MW Ratle, 120 MW Miyar, 48 MW Lower Kalnai and 1,000 MW Pakal Dul hydro projects, proposed to be constructed by India in Chenab basin in Jammu and Kashmir.
It is learnt that the five-member Pakistan delegation claimed that the projects could reduce flow of water into its territory, thus depriving its agriculture of an essential input. But India sought to allay the fear at the Permanent Indus Commission here.
Sources said both the sides agreed to continue their discussion to converge their points of views in the next meeting of the Commission, likely to be held in Pakistan.
The 109th meeting came ahead of the September 29 meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Chenab is a major river of Jammu and Kashmir. It forms in Himachal Pradesh and flows through Jammu and Kashmir into the plains of Pakistan`s Punjab.
The waters of the Chenab are allocated to Pakistan under the terms of the Indus Waters Treaty.
The Indus system of rivers comprises three Eastern Rivers (Ravi, Beas and Sutlej, and their tributaries) and three Western Rivers (Indus, Jhelum and Chenab, and their tributaries.
In June, Prime Minister Singh had kick-started work on the Ratle project on Chenab river as part of efforts to tap hydroelectric potential in Jammu and Kashmir.
The 850 MW Ratle project, which is the nation`s first hydroelectric project that was bid out through tariff-based international competitive bidding, will cost Rs 5,500 crore.
The Miyar project envisages an installation of 120 MW capacity. The project component comprises construction of a 25 metre high diversion structure, about 6.6-km-long head-race tunnel, an open to sky restricted orifice surge tank and a surface powerhouse complex on the right bank of river Chenab near Udaipur town.
Under the provisions of the 1960 Treaty, the two Commissioners are required to meet at least once a year, alternately in India and Pakistan.
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