Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 330 MW Kishanganga hydroelectric project in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan on Monday lodged its protest against India’s alleged violation of the Indus Waters Treaty at the World Bank.
A Pakistani delegation met with the Work Bank officials and argued that the 330 MW hydroelectric on Kishanganga River, a tributary of Jhelum, flowing into Pakistan will disrupt water supplies.
Earlier on Friday, Pakistan government had raised its concerns, saying that the construction of dam violated the 1960 Indus Water Treaty between the countries.
“Pakistan believes that the inauguration of the project without the resolution of the dispute is tantamount to violation of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT),” Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.
“Pakistan reiterates that as the custodian of the Treaty, World Bank must urge India to address to Pakistan’s reservations on Kishanganga Hydroelectric Project (KHEP),” the statement added.
Reacting to Pakistan’s protest, a World Bank official said that the Indus Waters Treaty was essential for India and Pakistan to address the water management challenges.
“The Indus Waters Treaty is a profoundly important international agreement that provides an essential cooperative framework for India and Pakistan to address current and future challenges of effective water management to meet human needs and achieve development goals,” PTI quoted a World Bank spokesperson as saying.
“The meetings are discussing concerns raised by the Pakistan delegation and opportunities within the treaty to seek an amicable resolution,” the spokesperson said.
Islamabad had been raising objections over the design of the hydel project, saying it is not in line with the criteria laid down under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) between the two countries. But, India says the project design was well within parameters of the treaty.
The project, located at Bandipore in North Kashmir, envisages diversion of water of Kishan Ganga River to underground power house through a 23.25-km-long headrace tunnel to generate 1713 million units per annum.
(With inputs from agencies)