Fact Box: Indus Waters Treaty

Aug 3, 2017 16:00 IST

The World Bank on 2 August 2017 allowed India to construct hydroelectric power plants Kishanganga and Ratle on the Jhelum and Chenab Rivers after secretary-level discussions between India and Pakistan on the technical issues over the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).


Indus Waters Treaty

Earlier, Pakistan was opposing the construction of the Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric power plants being built by India.

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Indus Waters Treaty was signed in 1960 after over 9 years of negotiations between India and Pakistan with the help of the World Bank, which is also a signatory.

The treaty was signed in Karachi on 19 September 1960 by Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and President of Pakistan Ayub Khan.

The Treaty describes the methods for cooperation and information exchange between the two countries regarding use of the rivers.

Permanent Indus Commission, which is responsible for cooperation and information exchange between both the countries, has a commissioner from each country.

It also puts up different procedures to handle issues such as- “questions” to be handled by the Commission; “differences” to be resolved by a Neutral Expert and “disputes” to be referred to seven-member tribunal “Court of Arbitration.”  

World Bank’s role is limited to the designation of people to fulfil certain roles as when requested.

The Treaty designates Jhelum, Chenab and Indus as the “Western Rivers” to which Pakistan has unrestricted use.

While, India was given the control over three "eastern" rivers namely Beas, Ravi and Sutlej.

Under the Treaty, India is permitted to construct hydroelectric power facilities on these rivers subject to constraints specified in Annexure to the Treaty.

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