[Diplomacy] Pakistan: Kishanganga Hydroproject Judgement, Gwadar Port given to China

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Unacademy Plus Mrunal Economy for Prelims and Mains UPSC!
  1. What is Kishanganga?
  2. Indus Water treaty?
  3. Permanent Indus Commission (PIC)?
  4. What is the Kishanganga problem?
  5. Pakistan’s objections
    1. #1: less electricity for Pak
    2. #2: less water for Pak
  6. International Court of Arbitration at The Hague
  7. Gwadar Port transferred to China
  8. Mock Questions

Indus Water treaty?

  • Signed between India(Nehru) and Pakistan (Gen.Ayub Khan), in 1960.
  • It allocates the water in following manner
Eastern Rivers Western
  1. Sutlej
  2. Ravi
  3. Beas
  1. Chenab,
  2. Jhelum
  3. Indus
Remember “SRBjit” (Sarbjeet=that Indian man in Pakistani jail). Remember CJI (Chief justice of India).
This water belongs to India exclusively. This water belongs to Pakistan.
However, India can make limited use of this water, and build hydro Projects with certain conditions.

Permanent Indus Commission (PIC)?

  • Indus Water Treaty provides for this Commission.
  • It is made up of one Indian + one Pakistani Commissioner.
  • PIC holds meetings, inspects the projects on these rivers (to make sure neither party is violating anything).
  • If either party is making or modifying any canal, projects etc. they’ve to share data/ information to other party.
  • Water related issues/disputes should be solved by talks and negotiations.
  • If talks/negotiations fail, then India / Pakistan can approach a third party neutral expert.

What is the Kishanganga problem?

  • Kishanganga is a tributary of Jhelum river.
  • When Kishanganga enters Pakistan, it is called “Neelam river.”

Now Observe this map:
Kishanganga project map

  • As you can see, India is building a dam at a place called “Gurez”. (work done by National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC))
  • India will divert this water via a 20+ km tunnel for generating electricity.
  • This tunnel will deliver water to Kishanganga hydroelectric plant (KHEP) @Bonar Nalla and generate about 300+MW electricity.
  • Pakistan objected to this project.
  • India refused to stop the project.
  • So, 2010 Pakistan approaches International Court of Arbitration (ICA) saying that India has violated the Indus water treaty of 1960.
  • The court gave stay order and stopped India from constructing the project while the case was going on.

Pakistan’s objections

If India builds a dam on Kishanganga and diverts water then

#1: less electricity for Pak

  • We are also building a Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower project.
  • This plant will have electricity generation capacity of almost 1000MW.
  • But if India builds a dam on Kishanganga (=Neelum) then less water flow for Pakistan’s side = this project’s electricity generation capacity will be reduced by 150MW.

#2: less water for Pak

  1. We’ll will receive 15% less water (from our original share of river waters according to Indus Water treaty).
  2. We might not get water at all from Neelum River for about seven to nine months a year! = not good for agriculture.

International Court of Arbitration at The Hague

India was represented by noted legal expert Mr.Fali S Nariman. (2 marker person in news)
Pakistan was represented by Mr. I.M. Notimp4upsc.

Court After hearing both the side, We order that

  1. India has right to build dam and divert water from River Kishanganga.
  2. BUT India will have to maintain some minimum water flow, for Pakistan’s use. It means Indian doesn’t have right to “FULLY” divert water.
India Ok how much minimum water flow do we need to maintain for Pakistan?
Court That we’ll tell you in December 2013. But in the mean time, both of your submit your survey database to us. So we can decide the minimum flow.
And @Pakistan, you also give data on how much water do you from Kishanganga sorry Neelam, for agriculture/irrigation?
Pakistan Ok.
India Objection! I suspect that Pakistan will intentionally come up with fake data that they need huge amount of water for irrigation!
Court It is for us to decide whether data is legit or fake! But submit the data first.
Plus, When both of your submit data, you’ll be given the opportunity to make objection against other party’s data.

To sum up: This is only a “partial verdict”, and “full” verdict will come in Dec 2013.

Another Development is “Pakistan handed over Gwadar port to China”.

Gwadar Port transferred to China

  • You already know the background and strategic importance of Gwadar port. If not, click me
  • In Feb 2013, Pakistan and China signed an agreement to hand over control of the strategic Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea to a Chinese company, According to this agreement,
  1. Gwadar sea port will remain the property of Pakistan.
  2. And the Chinese company will share profits from its operation.


Q1. According to Indus Water treaty, India has exclusive rights over

  1. Beas, Indus, Ravi
  2. Indus, Chenab, Jhelum
  3. Ravi, Satluj, Beas
  4. None of above.

Q2. Which of the following is correct regarding Kishanganga?

  1. It is a tributary of Sutlej river.
  2. In Pakistan, it is known as Neelam.
  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both
  4. None


  1. Fali S. Nariman (2m)
  2. Kishanganga Project (2m)
  3. Permenent Indus Commission. (5m)
  4. Indus Water treaty (5m)
  5. Write a note on the ongoing Kishanganga Project controversy between India and Pakistan. (15m)
Indian History Freedom Struggle Pratik Nayak

64 Comments on “[Diplomacy] Pakistan: Kishanganga Hydroproject Judgement, Gwadar Port given to China”

  1. sir…. awesome article and technique to explain was speechless…

    grt job

  2. sir,plz explain recent cauvery river dispute notification.

  3. Thank you………!!

  4. Hi mrunal. very useful info that a lot ji.But i cant get any charts or map from u r end. Please help me Ji.

  5. Dear Mrunal,
    I read your articles and find them informative but with this article I was disappointed. For an UPSC aspirant, aspirants ought to know specific details of contentions and disagreements that existed between various stakeholders and other technical observations which I don’t find in this article, neither concerns of Environment were discussed. Nevertheless, thanks for your spirit and hard work for sharing everything.

  6. very useful info bro…
    thank you..

  7. Thanks Mrunal Tree of Knowledge is growing day by day and due to Bees , Bats and birds like us pollination will occur and the knowledge tree will yield fuits and flower one day for sure .

  8. mrunal thnks….plz explain dead and live storage…..in this kishenganga issue

  9. A correction: It should be Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) instead of International Court of Arbitration (ICA is altogether a different organization under International Chambers of Commerce for commercial dispute resolution)

  10. Two more not so important facts.

    Fali S Nariman – Also argues the case in supreme court on Cauvery issue from Karnataka State Government

    There was takkar/punga [issue] with pakistan on baghliar dam on chenab project.
    IWT states restricted amount of water as permissible for storage [sediment flushing] in Indian dam . But the neutral expert for Baghliar project overlooked this clause of the treaty and gave a thumbs up signal for storing water under sediment management in baghliar project[which was more than the restricted amount in IWT].India was well within its limit to store some good amount of water which will cause atleast 20% deficit for Pakistan’s power generation project [present kishenganga issue]. Hence the great ICA has suggested that it is time to relook the baghliar issue and limit the water storage level as per IWT even though it is for sediment flushing.


    1. It would be helpful if you explain me about ‘sediment flushing’ as I am unable to understand this by the news readings. What is it actually?

      1. In simple terms….it is a method/technique used for removing sediment deposition in dams .Deposition usually occurs when the in-flowing water carry sediment along. Because of sediment deposition in dams the capacity to hold water decreases [approximately 1% around all dams globally]

        Sediment flushing requires lot of water to be stored.Flushing happens at low levels…It is relatively cheaper mechanism to de-silt the tank when compared to other forms of de-silting ….Dredging/Siphoning

        Dredging : in layman language it is like literally removing sand using JCB machine…[however in dredging heavy duty cranes are used]
        Siphoning :it works on principle similar to vacumm cleaner…it sucks the sediments [like used in aquarium Cleaning :-))]

  11. too good mrunal!!!!!!!!!!! thanks a lot for explaning each issue so wonderfully!!!!!!!!!!


  13. respected sir,i have one doubt sir,you already told when we use figures in mains exam we can get more mark,so if they ask above question,may we use above diagram? it is correct format to draw or this is a sample diagram sir? and we use this drawing format to other quetions?


  15. Can you please provide us one easy graph to remember locations of all six rivers mentioned above..?

  16. Sir
    what is run of the river project?
    they have dams but no reservoirs?

  17. one word awesome your way to explain any topic is awesome ….thanks man thanks a lot…

  18. Full Verdict came.
    India has to maintain minimum 9 cumecs flow.
    Pakistan had demanded 100 cumecs

  19. The Court of Arbitration at The Hague has issued its latest verdict on this topic. I feel the latest verdict can supplement this article.So, I am copy-pasting from Hindu:-

    The Court of Arbitration at The Hague has allowed India to go ahead with the construction of the Rs. 3600 crore Kishenganga hydro-electric project in North Kashmir,which will cause diversion of the waters of Kishanganga as envisaged by India, rejecting Pakistan’s plea that this was a violation of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty.Pakistan had objected to the ‘drawdown flushing’ apprehending that it will affect flows at its downstream Neelam project.

    However, the court restrained India from adopting the drawdown flushing technique for clearing sedimentation in the run-of-the river project designed for generation of 330 MW power.

  20. we should be united so this may not happend

  21. What happened post Dec 2013?

  22. 2014
    Nariman rejected to join lokpal search committee

  23. nice punchlines!!! but sarabjeet was not indian man in paki jail….but a single lion in thousand wolfs custody…..#longlivesarabjeet

  24. Thank you, Written in very simple language and understandable manner.

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