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India and Pakistan will hold the 116th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission(PIC) in New Delhi. They will discuss water sharing issues and address each other’s concerns with the Indus Water Treaty.
About Permanent Indus Commission(PIC):
- The Permanent Indus Commission is a bilateral commission of officials from India and Pakistan. It is created to implement and manage the goals of the Indus Water Treaty, 1960.
- Meeting: The Commission according to the treaty must meet regularly at least once a year. The PIC will hold the meeting alternately in India and Pakistan.
- Functions of the Permanent Indus Commission:
- To establish and promote cooperative arrangements for the Treaty implementation;
- Furnishing or exchange of information or data provided in the Treaty;
- Promote cooperation between the Parties in the development of the waters of the Indus system
- Examine and resolve any question in the agreement that arises between the parties.
- Last Meeting: The last meeting of the PIC was held in Pakistan in 2018. The Commission had to meet in 2020, but it got cancelled in view of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Key Focus of the 116th Permanent Indus Commission(PIC) meeting:
- India’s Projects on Indus River: The PIC will discuss Pakistan’s objections about two Indian projects:
- Pakal Dul Hydro Electric Project(1,000 MW): India is building the project on river Marusudar, a tributary of the Chenab. The project is located in Kishtwar district of J&K.
- Lower Kalnai Hydro Electric Project: India is developing it on the River Chenab.
- Further, routine issues such as flood data exchange mechanisms are also expected to be discussed during the meeting.
About Indus Water Treaty:
- Firstly, the Indus Water Treaty,1960 is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan.
- Secondly, according to the treaty, waters of the eastern rivers — Sutlej, Beas and Ravi had been allocated to India for unrestricted use. Similarly, the western rivers — the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab were allocated to Pakistan.
- Thirdly, India has been given the right to generate hydroelectricity through a run of the river projects on the western rivers subject to specific criteria for design and operation.
- And lastly, Pakistan also has the right to raise concerns on the design of Indian hydroelectric projects on western rivers.
Source: Indian Express