Muhammad Nadeem Bhatti
The Indus Waters Treaty is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank. The treaty was signed in Karachi on September 19, 1960 by Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and President of Pakistan Ayub Khan. According to this agreement, control over the three “eastern” rivers the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej was given to India, while control over the three “western” rivers the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum to Pakistan. More controversial, however, were the provisions on how the waters were to be shared. Since Pakistan’s rivers flow through India first, the treaty allowed India to use them for irrigation, transport and power generation, while laying down precise regulations for Indian building projects along the way. The treaty was a result of Pakistani fear that, since the source rivers of the Indus basin were in India, it could potentially create droughts and famines in Pakistan, especially at times of war.
Since the ratification of the treaty in 1960, India and Pakistan have not engaged in any water wars. Most disagreements and disputes have been settled via legal procedures, provided for within the framework of the treaty. As per the provisions in the treaty, India can use only 20% of the total water carried by the Indus river. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is an international financial institution that offers loans to middle-income developing countries. From the rivers flowing in India, India got nearly 33 million acre feet (MAF) from eastern rivers whereas Pakistan got nearly 125 MAF from western rivers. However India can use the western river waters for irrigation up to 701,000 acres with new water storage capacity not exceeding 1.25 MAF and use the rivers for run of river hydro power generation with storage not exceeding 1.6 MAF and nominal flood storage capacity of 0.75 MAF. These water allocations made to the J&K state of India are meager to meet its irrigation water requirements whereas the treaty permitted enough water to irrigate 80% of the cultivated lands in the Indus river basin of Pakistan. The storage capacity permitted by the treaty for hydro power generation is less than the total annual silt that would accumulate in the reservoirs if the total hydro potential of the state was to be exploited fully. Pakistan is also losing additional benefits by not permitting moderate water storages in upstream J&K state whose water would be ultimately released to the Pakistan for its use and avoid few dams requirement in its territory. CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif clearly is fully devoted for the development of new multipurpose water reservoirs with massive storage for impounding multiyear inflows such as 4,500 MW Diamer-Bhasha Dam, 3,600 MW Kalabagh Dam, 600 MW Akhori Dam, Dasu Dam, Bunji Dam, Thakot dam, Patan dam, etc projects with huge population resettlement. Pakistan had a total installed power generation capacity of almost 25 GW in 2017. whereas demand for electricity is increasing at an average annual rate of eight per cent. And according to World Energy Statistics 2011, published by IEA, Pakistan’s per capita electricity consumption is one-sixth of the World Average. World average per capita electricity consumption is 2730 kWh compared to Pakistan’s per capita electricity consumption of 451 kWh. They have forecast that total electricity demand of the country will be 49,078 MW in 2025. Now the average demand is 22,000 MW and the shortfall is between 5,000 and 6,000 MW. Pakistan have almost exhausted their gas reserves. Imported oil’s price hikes affect the budget and its constant supply cannot be guaranteed. More than 1000 New power Plants were proposed by Govt including Natural Gas plants, Coal Plants, Hydroelectricity plants, Wind power Plants and Also Nuclear Power Plants. With 25% of these plants were expected to run in this year.
During the last five years India has built many dams including Jharkand Dam, Kishanganga hydroelectric plant,chenad Ratle hydroelectric plant sina kolegaon, khuga dam and so many others.I am disappointed to mention that in last many years no any government could develop a new big dam to fulfill demands of country. Although Pakistan is constructing the Neelum–Jhelum Hydropower Plant downstream of the Kishanganga. The Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant operates in a similar sense as the Neelum–Jhelum Hydropower Plant, using a dam to divert the Kishanganga (Neelum) River to a power station before it is discharged into Wular Lake which is fed by the Jhelum River. The Kishanganga Project will divert a portion of the Neelum River from Pakistan which will reduce power generation at the Neelum–Jhelum Hydropower Plant.
In 2010, Pakistan appealed to the Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration , complaining that the Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant violates the Indus River Treaty by increasing the catchment of the Jhelum River and depriving Pakistan of its water rights. After Pakistan’s application was first rejected, the court asked India late September to stop constructing any permanent works that would inhibit restoration of the river. The International Court of Arbitration gave its “final award” on 20 December 2013, wherein it allowed India to go ahead with the construction of the Kishanganga dam in Jammu & Kashmir over which Pakistan had raised objections. According to the standards of ISO Pakistan is willing to be the part of those countries which have valuable export goods but due to unsettlement of water and diversified flow of rivers that cannot mature the dream of Pakistan to get radiant. That’s why the over population of Pakistan is hording all the resources and delaying the level to be Asian Tiger in the sense of promoting and exporting the goods for international markets.
In Pakistan, Faisalabad known as a industrial city by its industrialization and popular by its best export ratio and promotion of super goods and supply by this city. The chief executive FESCO Mr. Mujahid Islam Billah has done remarkable services towards good work for the public interest. Fluctuation of Electricity is a major issue in Pakistan. Even it irritates the ordinary man. And if somebody has invested a huge capital for industrialization he needs nonstop power supply but during the storm of air, the electric power feeders do not work properly.
Even their Transformers do not supply the electric supply accordingly. So the all schedule turn turtle and demanding productivity do not give proper results. During his tenure he searched the suffered areas of his region and maintained them accordingly within limited time. As a chief of FESCO he has given remarkable industrial electric nonstop power services with his team to make the dream come true of chief minister Punjab as an exportable Pakistan. It is possible only with the concerted efforts of serious minded people who really want to see Pakistan like a radiant country who made the progress depending upon on his resources. For this cause the big political Parties have to settle this object upon one objective although it is concern of their country by which they known as leaders.
—The writer is Chairman, Pakistan Columnist Council and can be reached at [email protected]