Context: The Indus Commissioners of India and Pakistan will meet to discuss a host of issues, including Islamabad’s concerns to the design of Indian hydropower projects on the Chenab River.

  • 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.
  • Under the Treaty, India has been given the right to generate hydroelectricity through a run of the river projects on the western rivers subject to specific criteria for design and operation. 
  • It also gives the right to Pakistan to raise concerns on the design of Indian hydroelectric projects on western rivers. 

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).

Indus water treaty

  • Indus Water Treaty (IWT) signed on September 19, 1960, between India and Pakistan and brokered by the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) which fixed and delimited the rights and obligations of both countries concerning the use of the waters of the Indus River system.
  • Geographical location: The origination of the Indus River from southwestern Tibet Autonomous Region of China and flows through the disputed Kashmir region and then into Pakistan to drain into the Arabian Sea. 
  • Distribution: IWT deals with river Indus and its five tributaries. Eastern following rivers like Sutlej, Beas and Ravi were given to India whereas Pakistan got control over Indus, Chenab, and Jhelum.
  • Under the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty, all the waters of the eastern rivers — the Sutlej, Beas, and Ravi  is allocated to India for unrestricted use.
  • The waters of western rivers — Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab is largely for Pakistan.
  • Permanent Indus Commission: This unique treaty led down the formation of PIC which was set up as a bilateral commission to implement and manage the Treaty.
  • Significance: The treaty administers how river Indus and its tributaries that flow in both countries will be utilized. 
    • The treaty allocates 80% of the water from the six-river Indus water system to Pakistan and India is allowed to use 20 percent of its water for irrigation, power generation, and transport purposes.