A three-member Pakistani delegation arrived in Delhi on Sunday to visit the Chenab river basin and to inspect hydro-power projects at Chenab river basin in Jammu and Kashmir for inspection which is mandated under the Indus Water Treaty. The Indian leg of general tours of Inspection of Permanent Indus Commission will be held between January 28-31, 2019.
The delegation of experts headed by Pakistan commissioner for Indus Waters Syed Mehr Ali Shah entered India via the Wagah Border where it will inspect the water projects on the Chenab river, mainly the 1,000MW Pakal Dul and 48MW Lower Kalnai.
Prior to their departure, Shah hailed the tour as a positive development for the Indus Waters Treaty, also known as the Sindh Taas agreement, and said the two sides would also exchange information on the subject.
Pakistan’s Indus Commissioner Syed Mohammad Mehar Ali Shah and Indian Indus Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Saxena along with their respective advisers will undertake this tour in Chenab basin of Jammu and Kashmir.
This tour is an obligation imposed on both the countries by the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 between India and Pakistan. Under the treaty, both the commissioners are mandated to inspect sites and works on both the sides of Indus basin in a block of five years,” a senior official said.
Since signing of the treaty, a total of 118 such tours on both the sides have been undertaken by the commission. The last tours of the commission in Pakistan and India were held in July 2013 and September 2014, respectively. No tour could be held in the current five years block, which ends in March 2020.
This tour will be followed by a visit of India’s Indus Commissioner to Pakistan at a mutually convenient date, the official added.
This tour was originally scheduled in October 2018 but was postponed because of local bodies and panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir.