Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters
Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters (PCIW) is the part of the Permanent Indus Commission which is a bilateral commission consisting of officials from India and Pakistan, created to implement and manage the goals and objectives and outlines of the Indus Waters Treaty. The commission maintains and exchanges data and co-operates between the two countries.
OFFICE OF PCIW AND INDUS WATERS TREATY 1960
The office of Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters deals with the implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 signed with India on the sharing of the waters of Indus System of Rivers. Under the provisions of the Treaty, the waters of three Eastern Rivers (Ravi, Sutlej and Beas) have been allocated to India for her exclusive use, whereas, the waters of three Western Rivers (Indus, Jhelum and Chenab) have been allocated to Pakistan. However, from the three Western Rivers, India has been allowed following uses:
- Domestic Use;
- Non-Consumptive Use;
- Limited Agricultural Use (701,000 acres additional area permitted in India and Indian held part of Jammu and Kashmir in the basins of the three Western rivers, i.e. Indus, Jhelum and Chenab)
- Generation of hydro-electric power (The use is permitted subject to observance of design and operational criteria specified by the Treaty); and
- Storage Works (Upper limit of storage has been fixed at 3.60 Million Acre Feet (MAF), divided among three Western Rivers basins; details given at Annexure E of Indus Waters Treaty 1960)
PERMANENT INDUS COMMISSION AND COMMISSIONERS
The Treaty is being implemented through Permanent Indus Commission. The two Commissioners from both sides (Pakistan and India) together form the Permanent Indus Commission. Each Commissioner, unless either Government decides to take up any particular question directly with the other Government, is the representative of his Government for all matters arising out of the Treaty, and serves as the regular channel of communication on all matters relating to the implementation of the Treaty.
FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMISSION
Major functions of the Commission are:
- To establish and maintain a co-operative arrangement for the implementation of the Treaty;
- To promote co-operation between the Parties in the development of the waters of the Rivers;
- To meet regularly (at least once a year) to review implementation of the Treaty;
- To make every effort to settle promptly any question arising between the Parties; and
- To undertake tours of inspection of the Rivers to ascertain facts.
- Exchange of daily gauge and discharge data of the rivers.
- Supply of advance flood information.
TOURS OF INSPECTION OF PERMANENT INDUS COMMISSION
In order to ascertain the facts connected with various developments and works on rivers of the Indus Basin the Permanent Indus Commission undertakes tours of inspection of the Rivers on both sides of international boundary/LOC in India and Pakistan including Jammu and Kashmir. These tours are undertaken under Paragraph 4(c) and 4(d) of Article VIII of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960.
- GENERAL TOUR OF INSPECTION
Under the provisions of Article VIII(4)(c) of the Indus Waters Treaty, the Permanent Indus Commissioner is required ‘to undertake, once in every five years, a general tour of inspection of the Rivers for ascertaining the facts connected with various developments and works in the reaches of Indus System of Rivers (The Indus, The Jhelum, The Chenab, The Sutlej, The Ravi, The Beas) either in Pakistan or in India.
For the convenience of both the sides these General Tours are undertaken in parts and generally two parts every year, one in Pakistan and the other in India. This practice is being followed since last 57 years without any problems.
- SPECIAL TOUR OF INSPECTION
Under the provisions of Article VIII(4)(d) of the Treaty, the Commission is required ‘to undertake promptly, at the request of either Commissioner, a tour of inspection of such works or sites on the Rivers as may be considered necessary by him for ascertaining the facts connected with those works or sites’. In the Annual Report of the Commission, such a tour has been referred to as ‘special tour of inspection’, to distinguish it from the ‘general tour of inspection’ mentioned in Article VIII(4)(c) of the Treaty.
MEETINGS OF THE PERMANENT INDUS COMMISSION
Under Article VIII(5) the meetings (annual and special) of the Permanent Indus Commission comprising Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters and Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters, are held alternately in Pakistan and India before 1st June every year in order to finalize the Annual Reports of the Commission for the preceding year ending on 31 March. The Article VIII(5) states that:
“The Commission shall meet regularly at least once a year, alternately in India and Pakistan. This regular annual meeting shall be held in November or in such other month as may be agreed upon between the Commissioners. The Commission shall also meet when requested by either Commissioner”.
During the meeting the Commission records report of the activities undertaken during the preceding year and chalks out activities for the next year. The Commission further discusses the issues which are on the Agenda with mutual consent.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE PERMANENT INDUS COMMISSION
Article VIII(8) of the Treaty provides:
“The Commission shall submit to the Government of India and to the Government of Pakistan, before the first of June of every year, a report on its work for the year ended on the preceding 31st of March, and may submit to the two Governments other reports at such times as it may think desirable”.
Under this provision of the Treaty, the Commission submits Annual Report on its works for the year ended on 31st March to the Governments of Pakistan and India. The draft report prepared individually by each of the Commissioners is discussed and finalized for its submission to the two Governments.
EXCHANGE OF FLOW DATA
Regular exchange between India and Pakistan of daily gauge and discharge data of the rivers, diversions to canals, releases from reservoirs and escapages from canals for the part of the Indus River System in each country is also being done under the provisions of Indus Waters Treaty 1960.
ADVANCE INFORMATION ABOUT FLOOD FLOWS FROM INDIA
A Flood cell is established in this office each year in the monsoon season which works round the clock from 1st July to 10th October to receive and disseminate flood information to the user agencies in Pakistan. Under the agreement reached between Commissioners of the two countries, advance information about flood/base flows in respect of the Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Sutlej, Beas and Ravi rivers, is obtained through telephone from India on daily/hourly basis and passed on to the Federal Flood Commission, Flood Forecasting Division and Warning Centre, Lahore, Punjab irrigation Department and other user agencies/stakeholders.
Website of PCIW is under preparation