Water wars: India planning 155 hydel projects on Pakistan’s rivers

Published: November 15, 2011

PIWC acting commissioner believes not all projects would affect water inflow. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Although the prime ministers of India and Pakistan have spoken of their desire to open a ‘new chapter’ in ties, the long-term prospects of Pakistan and India resolving their disagreements about the “emotional issue” of water is expected to worsen in the future as the former plans to construct 155 hydropower projects on Indus, Jhelum and Chenab, an alleged move to deprive Pakistan of its water rights.

The Permanent Indus Commission (PIWC), which provides an on-going mechanism for consultation and conflict resolution through inspection, exchange of data, and visits between the two countries has compiled a list of 155 hydropower projects dams, India plants to construct in violation of the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960.

According to the Indus Waters Treaty, signed between Pakistan and India in 1960, the three Eastern Rivers of the subcontinent; Ravi, Sutlej and Bias, were given to India while the three Western Rivers; Indus, Jhelum and Chenab were given to Pakistan in a treaty brokered by the World Bank.

Acting Commissioner PIWC Usman Ghani confirmed the report when contacted, saying “Yes, India is planning 155 hydropower projects on the Western Rivers. Some of the projects are small and some are big.”

Ghani also maintained that the smaller projects being initiated by India would not affect the water inflow of Western Rivers; however, the same could not be said of some of the bigger projects India had in mind.

“If India initiates a project of an installed capacity of 4-Megawatt (MW), it will not affect water inflow,” he added.

A list compiled by PICW revealed that India had constructed 41 hydropower projects and 12 hydropower plants were under construction, in addition to the 155 projects planned on the Western Rivers.

India has completed the construction of 6 hydropower plants on River Chenab, including 450-MW Baglihar 1 and 690-MW Salal 2. Construction on two projects was under way, including the 450-MW Baglihar 2 and 15MW Ranja-Ala-Dunadi.

Furthermore, India  has planned an additional 56 hydropower projects on River Chenab, including some big projects such as the 1200-MW Sawalkot (1 and 2), 715-MW Seli, 1000-MW Pakaldul (1 and 2), 1020-MW Bursar (1 and 2), 690-MW Rattle (1 and 2) and 600-MW Kiru.

India has completed 15 projects on River Jhelum, including the 480-MW Uri-1, 105-MW Lower Jhelum and 105-MW Upper Sindh.

Six projects are under construction, including the 240-MW Uri 2 and 330-MW Kishanganga. India also plans to initiate 74 projects on River Jhelum, including a few big projects such as the 165MW Sonamarg Storage, 100MW Gangabal Storage and 280MW multipurpose Ujh Storage.

However, the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) has barred India from any permanent works on the controversial Kishanganga project in response to Pakistan’s appeal for ‘interim measures’ against the dam which may inhibit the restoration of the river flow to its natural channel. Some of the projects constructed by India have been contested by Pakistan, including the Baglihar dam on River Chenab. But when the matter was taken before a neutral expert against its construction, the verdict was given against Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th,  2011.

Reader Comments (28)

  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Nov 15, 2011 - 10:45AM

    Pakistan’s rivers?
    Was it Jinnah who built them or was it Mohammed bin Qasim?

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  • Vicram Singh
    Nov 15, 2011 - 10:49AM

    “But when the matter was taken before a neutral expert against its construction, the verdict was given against Pakistan.”

    India has always played by the rules.

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  • Jat
    Nov 15, 2011 - 10:49AM

    Pakistan rivers? Huh

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  • fahim
    Nov 15, 2011 - 11:05AM

    us cry babies…

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  • anup
    Nov 15, 2011 - 12:02PM

    what is problem in building hydel projects ?? Hydel projects don’t drink water .

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  • Noman
    Nov 15, 2011 - 12:21PM

    All the rivers are originating from Kashmir, and India is in invasion of it. Neither Gandhi nor Raja Dahar has built these rivers and that doesn’t make India the owners. these River pass through Pakistan and India both that why a ‘treaty’ is made so that both can use this natural resource with justice, and avoid war on statements like “Pakistan’s Rivers huh!”.

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  • John B
    Nov 15, 2011 - 12:38PM

    Imran khan has a political talking point now?

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  • Nov 15, 2011 - 1:01PM

    Vienna,November 15,2011
    Just as there are no human managements in Pakistan, there are
    also no resource managements.The problem includes water as
    admitted by Pakistan. That is the cause of floods,lack of electricity,
    load shedding and other problems. Who cares after claiming sovereign
    rights? What a shame to place blame on everything the other.
    Osama Bin Laden lived as guest But the U.S.took
    the blame of detecting him.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Nov 15, 2011 - 1:19PM

    @Noman:

    All the rivers are originating from
    Kashmir, and India is in invasion of
    it

    Yeah! if Pakistani are descendents of invading Arabs and Afghans, then what right do you have even to question India?

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  • zalim singh
    Nov 15, 2011 - 1:20PM

    Pakistanis = Arabs.

    Arabs = no rivers.

    No rivers = what problem?

    explain???????

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  • Nov 15, 2011 - 1:27PM

    @Noman:

    The day Pakistan signed the IWT accepting India’s rights to three rivers in Kashmir and accepting its rights to build projects on all the rivers, Pakistan signed away the right to say what you just said.

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  • Noman
    Nov 15, 2011 - 2:14PM

    It stops the flow of water consuming its ability to produce electric energy, eventually it ‘drinks’ water!
    whatever it does, when treaty define the distribution of water no one is allowed to keep hungry eyes on others part!! “basic rule of self respect”!

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  • Noman
    Nov 15, 2011 - 2:22PM

    We know there is lack of management in Pakistan, but who gave the Indians this right to point figures on the issues of Pakistani’s home and think that if Pakistan don’t know how to eat then snatch their food! We Pakistanis blame and protest against what is unjust and same is going on in the country at the moment in the leadership of Imran khan the great!

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  • Noman
    Nov 15, 2011 - 2:30PM

    Pakistani is not Arab or Afghan nation! Arabs “invaded” India by preaching Islam and Pakistani majority are those people who turned into Islam from Hinduism, Buddhism etc they are the Locals but with different religion which is a way of life and values. And this was the basis of Pakistan movement.

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  • Noman
    Nov 15, 2011 - 2:40PM

    @ Zalim Singh

    Arabs were in deep mess up till early 70s when petroleum was discovered and then they started to prosper as started to get extreme money for petroleum and with money you can buy all necessities. and they have enough petroleum to produce their electric energy!
    while Pakistan is an agriculture based economy that requires rivers to run and with in long term they can shift their economy to industry but that require a lot of investment and Neighbor like India who wont let Pakistan to clear even the first stage! Recommend

  • Noman
    Nov 15, 2011 - 2:50PM

    @ BruteForce:

    According to the Indus Waters Treaty, signed between Pakistan and India in 1960, the three Eastern Rivers of the subcontinent; Ravi, Sutlej and Bias, were given to India while the three Western Rivers; Indus, Jhelum and Chenab were given to Pakistan in a treaty brokered by the World Bank.
    Acting Commissioner PIWC Usman Ghani confirmed the report when contacted, saying “Yes, India is planning 155 hydropower projects on the Western Rivers. Some of the projects are small and some are big.”


    we are just in a protest that India should not temper with what is given to Pakistan in Treaty!!!

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  • scorp
    Nov 15, 2011 - 2:52PM

    the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) has barred India from any permanent works on the controversial Kishanganga project in response to Pakistan’s appeal for ‘interim measures

    Delebrate selective reading,selective facts reporting inhibit Pakistanis from having a serious intellectual debate….there is a complete verdict on dawn.com with out any creative imagination unlike ET and unlike pakistanis

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  • Has
    Nov 15, 2011 - 3:04PM

    water wars n see death of millions Recommend

  • Pundit
    Nov 15, 2011 - 3:16PM

    Mr Quereshi has now some talking points in his new political environment!

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  • Pundit
    Nov 15, 2011 - 7:03PM

    Thank you for updating me on indian plans for hydroelectricity.

    Somehow Indian media never just covers this vital info.

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  • Pundit
    Nov 15, 2011 - 7:05PM

    You forgot the Indian plans from Afghanistan’s side on Paki rivers:)

    As a friend I thought I should help you out:)

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  • Ankur
    Nov 15, 2011 - 7:43PM

    Pakistan’s river ?????

    Who gave them right to say such absurd statements. They have illegally occupied it. Pok is rightfully belongs to India and its Indian people who will decide the future of rivers.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli
    Nov 15, 2011 - 9:05PM

    Finnaly they have to used the fircrackers to saved pakistan water …………

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  • indian response.
    Nov 15, 2011 - 9:33PM

    U want water. Stop sending terrorists. This is our kind of war against you PAKIS!

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  • gp65
    Nov 16, 2011 - 6:33AM

    Here are some things n the article:
    1. Ghani also maintained that the smaller projects being initiated by India would not affect the water inflow of Western Rivers;
    2. Some of the projects constructed by India have been contested by Pakistan, including the Baglihar dam on River Chenab. But when the matter was taken before a neutral expert against its construction, the verdict was given against Pakistan
    3. On Kishanganga dam, there is an interim judgment published on Dawn that makes it very clear that the interim judgment was in favor of India.

    In light of the above 3 facts, where is the evidence that India has violated the treaty? This type of false media reporting simply feeds anti-India sentiment without any factual basis. Of course it is not just Tribune but a lot of TV anchors who also say the same thing.

    Recommend

  • gp65
    Nov 16, 2011 - 6:39AM

    @Noman:
    “Pakistani is not Arab or Afghan nation! Arabs “invaded” India by preaching Islam and Pakistani majority are those people who turned into Islam from Hinduism, Buddhism etc they are the Locals but with different religion ”
    Majority of Pakistanis say that they do not share ancestory with Indians and have Arab ancestry. They have even adopted Arabic pronuciation for things like Ramzan, Mazhab. Say Jazakulah instead of shukriya say Eid Saeed instead od Eid Mubarak.

    Also if Pakistanis are local with a different religion, how come you say that Pakistan was formed when Bin Qasim invaded? The locals were there even before Bin Qasim right?

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  • Nov 16, 2011 - 9:07AM

    @Noman:

    My answer to you is to read the very last sentence of the article.

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  • Surya
    Dec 13, 2011 - 4:34PM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    With the kind of english vocabulary you use, i am pretty sure you don’t live in US …Recommend

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