In a key development, Pakistan has raised objections to the design of India's Kiru hydroelectric plant, which is a mega 624 MW project over the Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir. However, New Delhi asserts that the project has proceeded in full compliance with the Indus Water Treaty.

India's Indus Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Saxena confirmed the development and informed another news agency that his Pakistani counterpart Syed Muhammad Meher Ali Shah has rebutted the layout of the Kiru hydroelectric plant.

"As a responsible upper riparian state, India is committed for full utilisation of its rights and believes in an amicable resolution the issues raised by Pakistan side in letter and spirit of the treaty," Saxena stated.

Saxena further confirmed that the design of the concerned project adheres to provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) and has been certified by the Central Water Commission, an apex body of the country in the field of water resources.

Pakistan Sparks Row On India's Kiru Hydro Plant In J&K

Kiru hydroelectric plant is a run-of-river project being implemented by Chenab Valley Power Projects Limited, a joint venture of the National Hydropower Company and Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC).

"Pakistan's objections on this project may come up for discussions in the next meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission scheduled this year in Pakistan. In the forthcoming meeting, the Indian side will explain its position and hope that Pakistan will appreciate the same and its apprehensions will be addressed through discussions," Saxena said.

Indus Waters Treaty Between India & Pakistan

India and Pakistan signed the accord in 1960 brokered by the World Bank. The Treaty pertains to all the waters of the eastern Rivers - Sutlej, Beas, and Ravi, which amounts to around 33 million acre-feet (MAF) annually, being allocated to India for unimpeded usage. The waters of western Rivers - Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab, which amounts to 135 MAF annually, has been assigned largely to Pakistan.

According to the IWT, India is granted the right to generate hydroelectricity through run-of-the-river projects on the western rivers subject to criteria for design and operation. Indus Treaty grants Pakistan the right to raise objections on Indian design within 3 months of the receipt of the information. India supplied the information on this project to Pakistan in June.

Saxena said that India is free to construct the run-of-the-river plants of western rivers with limited storage based on the criteria specified under IWT.

Pakistan Objects To India's Hydropower Projects

In 2021, during the Indus Commissioners of India and Pakistan conclave, Syed Muhammad Meher Ali Shah raised objections on the design of Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai hydropower projects in Jammu and Kashmir. India had clarified that the apparatus and construction were in clear compliance with the treaty.

Previously, Pakistan objected to hydropower projects in Chilling (24MW), Rongdo (12MW) and Ratan Nag (10.5MW) in Leh; while Mangdum Sangra (19 MW), Kargil Hunderman (25 MW) and Tamasha (12 MW) are in Kargil. India had reiterated that the designs were in order and wholly compliant with the Indus Waters Treaty.