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Indus Commissioners Of India, Pak To Meet In New Delhi On March 23-24

The Indus Commissioners of India and Pakistan will meet here on March 23 and 24 to discuss a host of issues, including Islamabad’s concerns to the design of Indian hydropower projects on the Chenab River, a top official said on Sunday.

This will be the annual meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission. Under the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty, both the commissioners are required to meet at least once a year alternately in India and Pakistan.

“The meeting will take place in New Delhi on March 23-24,” P K Saxena, India’s Indus Commissioner.

This will also be the first meeting between the two commissioners after the nullification of special provisions under Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The state was later carved into two union territories Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir.

Since then, India has cleared several hydropower projects in Ladakh.

They are Durbuk Shyok (19 MW), Shankoo (18.5 MW), Nimu Chilling (24 MW), Rongdo (12 MW), Ratan Nag (10.5 MW) for Leh, while Mangdum Sangra (19 MW), Kargil Hunderman (25 MW) and Tamasha (12 MW) have been cleared for Kargil.

India had conveyed the projects to Pakistan and the issue is expected to come for discussion during the meeting. Saxena said that Pakistan’s concerns to the design of Indian hydropower projects on the Chenab river will also be discussed.Β 

The last year’s meeting, which was earlier scheduled to be held in New Delhi in March 2020, was cancelled for the first time since the signing of the Treaty, in view of the pandemic situation.

India in July 2020 had proposed to Pakistan that the meeting to discuss pending issues pertaining to the Indus Water Treaty be held virtually in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but Pakistan insisted on holding the talks at the Attari check post.

However, India said it was not conducive to hold the meeting at the Attari Joint Check Post due to the pandemic. 

With the improvement in the situation, this mandatory meeting is being held. All COVID-related protocols will be followed, Saxena said.

The meeting will take place after a gap of nearly two-and-half years. The last meeting took place in Lahore in August 2018.

The Indian delegation will be led by Saxena with his advisors from the Central Water Commission, Central Electricity Authority and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation.

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Press Trust of India

YATISH MAHAJAN

I am Yatish Mahajan. Defence aspirant, want to wear stars on shoulders. At present pursuing BE in mechanical engineering.

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