Top officials from India and Pakistan on Wednesday concluded a meeting held to discuss two long-contested Indian dam projects on the Chenab River.
Over two days, they discussed designs of the Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai dam projects, with the Indian side maintaining that they are fully compliant with the 1960 water-sharing treaty signed by the two neighbours, according to a statement from India’s Ministry of External Affairs.
Under the Indus Waters Treaty provisions, the two sides are required to meet at least once every year, alternately in India and Pakistan.
The meeting could not be held last year due to pandemic-related restrictions.
Pakistan requested India information on the design of other hydropower projects being developed, the ministry statement said.
New Delhi assured Islamabad that the information will be provided as and when required, it added.
Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to interact more frequently in an attempt to resolve the issues by bilateral discussions under the treaty.
Our only two existing big reservoirs can save water only for 1 month v/s min requirement of 4 months for any country. India can store water for 6 months. The US can do it for 30 months whereas Egypt can do it for 33 months. Pakistan certainly needs more Dams. #WorldWaterDay2021
— Faisal Javed Khan (@FaisalJavedKhan) March 22, 2021
The two longtime rivals share the water of six rivers under the Indus Waters Treaty, a water-sharing agreement brokered by the World Bank in 1960.
Under the agreement, the waters of the eastern rivers – the Sutlej, Beas and Ravi – have been allocated to India, while Pakistan has been given control over the three western rivers – the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab.
Pakistan accuses India of “continuously” violating the treaty by building dams on the western rivers, whereas New Delhi thinks Islamabad controls more water than New Delhi due to the treaty.
The two South Asian nations have fought three wars in 1948, 1965, and 1971 — since they were partitioned in 1947.
Read more: Climate Change and Pakistan’s Water Security
India is also locked in a water dispute with China on Beijing’s construction of dams and proposed diversion of the Brahmaputra River, which originates in Tibet and provides a third of India’s irrigation needs.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk