Inspect project site, gets feedback from NHPC officials

Amir Tantray

Doda, Jun 24 :

The Indus Water Treaty (IWT) cat is out of the bag again as a 40-member delegation comprising Pakistanis, Indians and neutral experts today had an extensive tour to different units of 850-mega watt Ratle hydroelectric power project in Kishtwar district.

The delegation after landing at Kishtwar helipad on India’s most trusted Boeing-CH 47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter straightway drove to Ratle hydroelectric power project site situated on the banks of river Chenab at Drabshala on Batote-Kishtwar national highway in Kishtwar district.

According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the delegation was taken to the project site in high security and people including the workers at the project site were kept at a bay and everything was done in a secret atmosphere.

“After reaching the project site, the delegation visited the offices where they went through the papers related to the construction of the project and got a briefing from the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) officers,” a source in the Ratle project told KNO.

The delegation will be staying in Kishtwar for a few days and is also expected to visit the 1000-megawatt Pakal Dool hydroelectric project being built on Marusudar River coming from Marwah, a tributary of river Chenab.

The 850-megawatt Ratle power project is a run of the river project which was started 11 years ago when on June 25, 2013 the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation stone from Chowgan ground at Kishtwar. The project was delayed after some internal issues and also when the construction GVK Reddy group had ended the agreement with the government.

Pakistani government in the year 2016 had written to World Bank and had raised objection over the design features of two projects including Ratle and Kishenganga project and had sought settlement through neutral experts. Later on Pakistan had withdrawn the request and had sought adjudication through the Court of arbitration, to which India objected and sought settlement through neutral experts.

The negotiations failed as neither of the parties backtracked, which forced the World Bank to appoint a neutral expert and the chair of the Court of Arbitration in October 2022 and issued notices for the modification of the treaty. India had warned that nothing like such parallel consideration is covered under the IWT.

In July 2023, the Court of Arbitration ruled that it was “competent to consider and determine the disputes set forth by Pakistan’s request for arbitration.” After filing its first Memorial, Pakistan presented its documents supporting its legal case and the Court held its first visit to the Neelum-Jhelum Hydro-Electric Plant in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir which was aimed getting familiarize with the general aspects of the design and operation of run-of-river hydro-electric plants along the Indus system of rivers.

India refused to take part in the Court of arbitration and submitted its Memorial to the Neutral Experts and in September last year Pakistan joined the second meeting of the parties held by Neutral Experts in Vienna.

Boeing CH 47-Chinook Helicopter

As the Boeing CH 47 Chinook high-lift helicopter entered the skies of Kishwar, it became the major attraction of people living in the town. The helicopter was carrying a 40-member delegation of Neutral Experts of World Bank, which is on four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir to check power projects being built on the run of the river. All the eyes were skywards and many people were seen capturing the images and videos of the helicopter landing at a helipad in Kishtwar near Chowgan ground—(KNO)


Shaharbeen News Service Kashmir is a news service which covers, gathers, writes, and distributes news to newspapers, periodicals, radio and television broadcasters, government agencies, and other users. We at SNS Kashmir believe in fair and independent journalism to inform our masses or subscribers and readers about the happenings around the world. The prime focus of the news gathering and reporting is focused on Jammu and Kashmir state.

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