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SAARC Diary: Indus Water Commission Meet in Delhi

SAARC Diary: Indus Water Commission Meet in Delhi

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NEW DELHI, Mar 25: The 116th annual meeting of the India-Pakistan Permanent Indus Commission comprising Indus Commissioners from India and Pakistan was held on March 23-24 in New Delhi. The meeting took place after a two-and-a half-year hiatus. The last meeting was held in Lahore on August 29, 2018

The Indus Waters Treaty, signed by India and Pakistan in 1960, requires the two Commissioners to meet at least once a year, alternately in India and Pakistan. The Commission is in charge of water rights of the Indus river. Last year’s meeting was cancelled due to Covid 19 pandemic.

In a statement the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that discussions on the designs of two Indian hydro projects, Pakal Dul Dam (1000 MW) and Lower Kalnai, (48 MW) were held at the meeting. The Indian side maintained that these projects are completely compliant with the Treaty’s provisions and provided technical evidence to back up its claim.

Pakistan has asked India to share details on the design of other Indian hydropower projects that are in the process. The Indian side promised that the information would be provided as and when necessary under the Treaty’s provisions.

Both Commissioners reaffirmed their willingness to meet more regularly in order to address problems through bilateral negotiations under the Treaty. The next PIC meeting will be held in Pakistan on mutually suitable dates.

Maldives: Fiyavathi Renovation Project Launched

‘Fiyavathi Renovation Project,’ part of India’s total grant assistance to the Maldives of MVR 200 million, was inaugurated on Wednesday through a virtual ceremony organised by the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services.

The project funds economically beneficial initiatives spread across the Atolls. High Commissioner of India to Maldives Sunjay Sudhir, Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and other senior officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Family affairs and Fiyavathi attended the inauguration ceremony.

According to the Indian High Commission in Maldives, “the renovation of ‘Fiyavathi’ in Hulhumale, which houses over 110 children, is a very unique project whose underlying goal is to build a conducive home environment for the children to grow and develop.” India is fortunate to be involved with a project at the Fiyavathi shelter whose aim is to provide a healthy, stable, and enabling atmosphere for vulnerable children who have been exposed to various types of neglect and violence and have no other means of primary care. It is a shining example of one of 30 Indian grant projects being carried out in the Maldives with the aim of creating valuable assets for local communities that will positively lead to the improvement of quality of life.

India – Sri Lanka Project Steering Committee Meet

Indian Deputy High Commissioner Vinod K. Jacob, co-chair of the Project Steering Committee (PSC) on Thondaman Vocational Training Centre (TVTC) upgradation, and Deepthika Gunarathna, Additional Secretary (Development), State Ministry of Estate Housing & Community Infrastructure, who represented the Secretary and co-chair of the PSC, met at the High Commission on March 23 to review progress of upgradation.

According to the Indian High Commission in Colombo, Government of India is undertaking to upgrade the Training Centre as a grant project, which includes civil work as well as the supply of equipment. This project exemplifies India’s on-going dedication to carrying out human-centric initiatives in Sri Lanka across multiple sectors.

Education and vocational training have been important components of India’s development assistance to Sri Lanka.  India’s total assistance to Sri Lanka currently exceeds USD 3.5 billion, with grants amounting to USD 560 million. Though nearly 65 grant projects have already been completed throughout the island, another 20 are in various stages of completion.

(Venkatesh Iyer)

 

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