LAHORE - India is getting undue advantage in construction of Kishan Ganga and Ratle hydropower projects following delay from Islamabad in approaching World Bank for appointment of a neutral expert to resolve the dispute between two countries, sources have told The Nation.

Indus Water Commission had raised serious objections on the projects being built by India in Occupied Kashmir and termed them violation of Indus Water Treaty. A year ago it had announced to approach the World Bank for arbitration which is broker of the treaty.

Sources said Indus Water Commission of the country had prepared the case but delay was at government’s end. This stand-still situation is favouring India.

Kishanganga project (330MW) is at final stage of construction. It has been designed to divert water from the Kishanganga River to a power plant in the River Jhelum basin. The multipurpose dam is located 5km north of Bandipore in Occupied Kashmir.

Ratle project (850MW) is located at River Chenab and it would take a year and a half for completion.

An official water expert told The Nation that if India managed to construct Rattle Hydropower Project on Chenab under its existing objectionable design, the water flow of Chenab river at Head Marala would be reduced by 40 percent which would be disastrous for irrigation in (Pakistani) Punjab and Sindh provinces.

“The government is not looking serious in taking the case against India at international level. The situation has turned like in the case of Baglihar Dam,” said sources. Pakistan had lost that case at international court for its failure to take up the matter on time.

“The government earlier expressed its resolve to place the matter (of Kishan Ganga and Ratle projects) before the World Bank but the whole matter has taken a surprise turn now. The issue has been pending with the government since August 2015.”

Sources said India had not bothered to reply Pakistan Foreign Office’s letter seeking its consent for appointment of neutral expert over the designs of these projects as both the countries have failed to resolve the issues at the level of Permanent Commission of Indus Waters (PCIW). Now it was government responsibility to move the World Bank for appointment of neutral expert without delay but it has not taken any decision for last six months, they added.

India has planned to generate 22,000MW from rivers in Occupied Kashmir till 2022.

So far, India has built Dalhasti hydropower project of 330MW, Baglihar of 450MW and now it is about to complete Kishan Ganga, while work on Ratle hydropower project too has been started.

On Neelum River that joins the Jehlum River in Pakistan, India completed Uri-1, Uri-II hydropower projects. It also built Nimmo Bazgo and Chattak hydropower projects in held area.

Besides Kishan Ganga and Ratle, Pakistan had also raised concern over the design of three other projects being built by India on River Chenab. These projects are: Pakal Dul (1,000MW), Miyar (120MW) and Lower Kalnai (48MW).