International Cooperation for Hydro Power Development in India – Essay

A dispute thus arose between two countries regarding the utilization of irrigation water from existing facilities. Negotiations held under the good offices of International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), culminated in the signing of Indus Waters Treaty in 1960.

The Treaty was signed at Karachi by Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan, the then President of Pakistan, Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Indian Prime Minister and Mr. W.A.B. Illif of the World Bank on 19th September, 1960. The Treaty however is effective from 1st April, 1960 (Effective Date).

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India-Nepal Co-Operation:

Mahakali Treaty & Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project:

The Treaty on integrated Development of Mahakali River had been signed between the Government of India and Government of Nepal in February 1996, which came into force in June 1997 (Mahakali Treaty). Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project on river Mahakali known as Sarda in India is the centerpiece of the Treaty.

India- Nepal Joint Group of Experts (JGE) has been overseeing the physical and financial progress with respect to finalization of Joint Detailed Project Report of Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project. All the related field investigations have been completed and Detailed Project Report is to be finalized after resolving the pending issues, which are under discussion with Nepal. The project will have will have power, irrigation and incidental flood control benefits etc.

Sapta Kosi High Dam Multipurpose Project and Sunkosi Storage Cum Diversion Scheme:

As per the understanding reached between Government of India (GOI) and His Majesty’s Government of Nepal (HMGN), it has been agreed to conduct joint investigations and other studies for the preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Sapta Kosi High Dam Multipurpose Project and Sun Kosi Storage-cum- Diversion Scheme to meet the following objectives in terms of fulfilling the requirement of both the countries from its development:

(i) Hydro Power Generation;

(ii) Irrigation Development;

(iii) Flood Control/ management; and

(iv) Navigation.

269 meter high concrete/Rock fill dam on river Sapta Kosi with a dam toe underground power house with an installed capacity of 3000 MW at 50% load factor. A barrage on river Sapta Kosi about 8 km downstream of Sapta Kosi High Dam to re-regulate the water being released from the Sapta Kosi dam.

Two canals, Eastern Chhatra Canal and Western Chhatra Canal, off-taking from the either bank from barrage site to provide water for irrigation both in Nepal and India. The Navigation through Kosi up to Kursela and also in the reservoir of Sapta Kosi dam.

A Power Canal off-taking from Eastern Chatra Canal for conveying the water required for irrigation at existing Kosi barrage at Hanuman Nagarand also the water which may be required downstream of Hanuman Nagar barrage for the purpose of navigation. To utilize the head available between Chatra and Hanuman Nagar barrages for power generation, three canal Power Houses, each of 100 MW installed capacity are also proposed on power canal.

Necessary cushion in storage capacity of Sapta Kosi High Dam would be provided to moderate the flood downstream of dam. Chatra Canal System would provide irrigation to large area in Nepal and India (especially in Bihar).

Burhi Gandaki Hydro Electric Project:

On the request of HMG Nepal agreement in principal has been reached between Indian and Nepal to take up field investigations and preparation of Detailed Project Report of 600 MW Burhi Gandaki Hydro Electric Project, the MOU for which is to be signed between the two sides. The draft MOU has been finalized by Ministry of Water Resources and has been forwarded to Ministry of External Affairs who has agreed to fund the scheme.

Flood Forecasting and Warning System on Rivers Common to India & Nepal:

A plan scheme namely, “Flood Forecasting and Warning System on rivers common to India and Nepal” which has 42 meteorological / hydrometric sites in Nepalese territory is in operation since 1989. A Joint India- Nepal Committee on Flood Forecasting (CFF) was setup in April, 2001 to review the existing flood forecasting system and prepare a Flood Forecasting Master Plan (FFMP).

The Master Plan was also to include the upgrading of data transmission system and exchange of hydrological and meteorological data for an integrated flood management. The Committee has so far held three meetings in which among other issues the draft FFMP has also been finalized wherein the number of stations are proposed to be increased from 42 to 47.

Further for qualitative improvement of flood forecasting in Indian side, the Nepalese side has also agreed to transmit hydrological data in respect of the 5 key stations located on rivers Ganga, Kosi, Rapti, Bagmati and Mahananda twice a day.

India – Bangladesh Cooperation:

An Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) is functioning since 1972 with a view to maintain liaison in order to ensure the most effective joint effort in maximizing the benefits from common river systems which is headed by Water Resources Ministers of both the countries. 35th meeting of the JRC was held at New Delhi from 29th September to 1st October 2003 wherein various matters pertaining to cooperation in Water Resources sector with Bangladesh were discussed.

A new chapter in the Indo-Bangladesh relations opened up with signing of a Treaty by the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh on 12th December 1996 on the sharing of Ganga/Ganges waters. The Treaty shall remain in force for a period of thirty years to be renewable by mutual consent.

Discussions have been continuing with Bangladesh for sharing of waters of Teesta River. The existing system of transmission of flood forecasting data on major rivers like Ganga, Teesta, Brahmaputra and Barak during the monsoon season from India to Bangladesh was continued. The transmission of flood forecasting information from India during the monsoon has enabled the Civil and Military authorities in Bangladesh to shift the population affected by flood to safer places.

India – China Co-Operation:

In 2002, the Government of India had entered into an MoU with China for sharing of hydrological information on Yaluzangbo/ Brahmaputra river in flood season by China to India. In accordance with the provisions contained in the MoU, the Chinese side is providing hydrological information (Water level, discharge and rainfall) in respect of three stations, namely Nugesha, Yangcun and Nuxia located on river Yaluzangbo/ Brahmaputra from 1st June to 15th, October, every year. The requisite data upto the year 2013 was received and the same was utilized in formulation of flood forecasts by Central Water Commission.

An agreement regarding the provision of Hydrological data on Sutlej (Langqen Zangbo) was also concluded during the visit of Hon’ble Premier of China in April 2005 for which an MoU has been signed.

As per MoUs, the Chinese side has also agreed to provide information on any abnormal rise/fall in water level /discharge & other information, which may lead to sudden floods on the basis of existing monitoring & data collection facilities on real time basis. The two sides have also agreed to continue bilateral discussions to finalise at an early date similar arrangements for the Parlung Zangbo and Lohit (Zayu Qu) rivers (which are tributaries of Brahmaputra).

India-Bhutan Cooperation:

A scheme titled “Comprehensive Scheme for Establishment of Hydro-meteorological and Flood Forecasting Network on rivers common to India and Bhutan” is in operation. The network consists of 33 hydro meteorological/meteorological stations located in Bhutan and being maintained by Royal Government of Bhutan with funding from India.

The data received from these stations is utilized in India by Central Water Commission for formulating the flood forecasts. A Joint Expert Team (JET) consisting of officials from the Government of India and Royal Government of Bhutan continuously reviews the progress and other requirements of the scheme.