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Pak ‘diplomatic sabotage’ busted: India to go ahead with Ratle hydroelectric project, govt to send team to J&K

India has decided to go ahead with the 850 MW hydroelectric power project despite objections by Pakistan. The Ratle dam is currently under construction on the Chenab River. While Pakistan says that the dam violates the Indus Water Treaty, signed between the two countries in 1960, India has always maintained the Ratle project is a run-of-the-river hydroelectricity project and not in violation of the treaty.

According to the treaty, India can build hydropower projects on the Jhelum and the Chenab but Pakistan has deliberately protested and tried to stop any construction.

The decision to send the power ministry and state government officials to Ratle was taken at a meeting chaired by top officials of the prime minister's office on October 30. This meeting was related to the Indus basin projects and apart from Ratle two other projects were also discussed.

The Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir government have revived the Shahpur Kandi dam project and have entered into an agreement to restart the work that has been stalled for the past four years.

While the Punjab government will begin the work, the water resources ministry will prepare a revised cost estimate and ensure cabinet approval.

The water resources ministry and the Jammu and Kashmir government are also planning to visit the Ujh multipurpose project to prepare the action plant. According to media inputs, the government is looking to lay the foundation stone of the project by the end of the year.

Basically, the treaty allows the waters from the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab to Pakistan and the Ravi, Sutlej, and Beas to India.

World Bank has allowed India to construct Kishanganga and Ratle hydroelectric project on tributaries of the Jhelum and Chenab rivers with certain restrictions.

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