ISLAMABAD: The news is now confirmed that India has completed the controversial project of Kishanganga on Neelum river and Pakistan asked World Bank to look into this matter and recognize its responsibility under the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 to address its concerns over two disputed projects.

A government official reported that power division of the energy ministry sent a new notification earlier this week to the bank’s vice president asking them to “recognize its responsibility” and play its assigned role in order to ensure that India abided by the provisions of the 1960 treaty while building any of its projects.

He further added there was no doubt that India had completed the 330MW Kishanganga project during the period the World Bank stopped the process for constitution of a Court of Arbitration (COA) as requested by Pakistan in the start of  2016. This request was countered by India by calling for a neutral expert.

Pakistan had called for the resolution of this dispute over Kishanganga on Neelum river and another 850MW Ratle hydropower project on the Chenab.
According to the official, the letter had reached the bank’s head office in Washington and had been delivered to its vice president as confirmed by Pakistan’s director to the bank.

Islamabad had received reports in August of 2017 that New Delhi had completed the Kishanganga project as per the design that had been objected to by the former.

The new letter was sent to the World Bank after a Pakistani delegation of the Indus Waters Commission was not allowed to visit various controversial projects in India, including Kishanganga and Ratle schemes.

Since then the bank has arranged two rounds of talks between the two sides but the Indians kept on building the project.

About the Ratle project, Pakistan had raised four objections. Freeboard should be one meter instead of two meters whereas pondage should be a maximum of eight million cubic meters and not  24 million, intake level needs to be at 8.8 meters and spillways are required to be built at the height of 20 meters.

Pakistan believes the design of Ratle project would reduce Chenab flows by 40% at Head Marala and cause irrigation loss. The Ratle dam is going to be three times larger than the Baglihar dam.

According to the Indus Water Treaty, eastern rivers — the Sutlej, Beas, and Ravi — had been allocated to India and that of the western rivers — the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab — to Pakistan.

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