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Source: The post is based on the article “India’s call to modify the Indus Waters Treaty” published in The Hindu on 30th January 2023
What is the News?
India has sent a notice to Pakistan calling for the ‘modification’ of the Indus Waters Treaty owing to Pakistan’s persistent objections regarding India’s Kishenganga (KHEP) and Ratle hydropower projects in Kashmir.
What is the Indus Water Treaty?
What are Pakistan’s objections over the Kishenganga and Ratle projects?
Kishenganga Hydroelectric Project(KHEP): Kishenganga, a tributary of the Jhelum river originates in J&K and joins the river in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
– The work for KHEP was started in 2007 with a proposal to build a dam on the Kishenganga, diverting its water for a 330 MW hydropower plant in Kashmir’s Bandipora and sending it back.
– The work for the project was supposed to be completed by 2016, but before the construction started, Pakistan had raised objections regarding the height of the dam, fearing it would mean increased water storage for India. Consequently, India agreed to alter the design by lowering its height from 97 metres to 37 metres.
– In 2010, Pakistan took the matter to the International Court of Arbitration objecting to the diversion of water from Kishanganga. The Court gave India a green signal for the project (subject to conditions) in its final ruling in 2013.
–But the Pakistan approached the World Bank three years later in 2016 and again in 2018, objecting to the design. The project was, however, finally inaugurated in 2018.
Ratle hydroelectric power project: India’s 850-megawatt Ratle hydroelectric power project is on the Chenab river. Pakistan has repeatedly raised concerns over its design, insisting that India would use the project’s reservoir to create deliberate and artificial water shortage or cause flooding in Pakistan.