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India, Pakistan Agree For Mutual Inspection of Indus Basin

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India, Pakistan Agree For Mutual Inspection of Indus Basin

India has agreed to allow Pakistan to inspect the projects in the Jhelum basin, including Kishanganga hydroelectric project, in the near future and Islamabad will allow New Delhi to carry out inspection of the Kotri barrage over the Indus, reports Dawn on Tuesday.

The leading Pakistani daily referred to the minutes of the 115th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission held between the two countries from Aug 29 to 30 in Lahore.

The minutes of the meeting accessed by Dawn says, “Pakistan also urged India to arrange for the Special Tour of Inspection of the projects in Jhelum basin including Kishanganga HEP which is pending since 2014, on which ICIW (India’s Commissioner for Indus Waters) gave his assurance to arrange the same promptly.”

Earlier on Sunday, Shamil Ahmad Khwaja, Pakistan’s Water Resource Secretary reportedly said, “The major breakthrough of the two-day talks held in Lahore is that India has agreed to get the projects’ sites visited by our experts. Therefore, our team comprising experts will visit the sites in India by the end of next month.”

Read More: India, Pakistan enter in controversy over Lahore meet outcome

The minutes the meeting also revealed that the authorities of the two countries were unanimous about strengthening the role of the Permanent Indus Commission. Islamabad also highlighted the need and asked New Delhi to share the information about potential projects at the planning stage for examination, it said.

India, Pakistan Agree For Mutual Inspection of Indus Basin

The document said, “In this way any objections (if raised by Pakistan) can be addressed in the design at the early stage of planning instead of debating with India at belated stage when practically incorporating the requisite changes becomes a challenge.”

Both sides have also agreed to exchange the detailed basis of adopting various design parameters for both 48MW Lower Kalnai and 1000MW Pakal Dul HEPs at the Chenab River.

Read More: India, Pakistan to discuss water dispute in Lahore

“During the meeting both the sides agreed to conduct the General Tours of Inspection which could not be conducted since 2014. In this regard first PCIW (Pakistani Commissioner for Indus Waters) will visit the Chenab basin in the last week of September 2018 followed by the tour of ICIW to the Kotri barrage in the Lower Indus, according to Article VIII (4) (c),” the document revealed.

The two countries also agreed to arrange the next meeting of the commission soon after the tour of inspection on both sides to discuss and endeavour to address Pakistan’s objections on Lower Kalnai and Pakal Dul.

Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement in New Delhi on Friday saying, “Both the countries agreed to undertake the Treaty mandated tours of both the Indus Commissioners in Indus basin on both sides. Deliberations were also held on further strengthening the role of the Permanent Indus Commission for matters under the Treaty.”

Read More: India wins Kishangana battle against Pakistan at International Court

A senior Pakistani official told Dawn on Monday, “Since the talks between the two countries have been restored, Pakistani team may inspect the Kishanganga project on the eve of the next meeting of the permanent commission for the Indus waters in India or before this.”

India, Pakistan Agree For Mutual Inspection of Indus Basin

Responding to a question, the official said that India had no objection on the Kotri barrage in the lower Indus. “Their (Indian experts) visit to Pakistan will be after ending our experts’ inspection of the Lower Kalnai and Pakal Dul projects scheduled by end of this month,” the official said.

“The Indian experts’ visit / inspection of the Kotri barrage is sort of routine one, as they have no objection or concerns in this regard. It is a part of the compilation and exchange of the data by the two countries related to rivers’ flow, water storage, releases, etc,” he added.

Read more: World Bank fails to reach agreement with Pakistan on Indus Waters dispute

In March this year, the officials of the two countries met in New Delhi when both the sides shared details of the water flow and the quantum of water being used under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty.

In May, India could not reach an agreement with Pakistan to address its concerns regarding the Indus Waters Treaty with India after two-days of talks in Washington which were held days after India inaugurated the Kishanganga hydroelectric project in Jammu and Kashmir.

The 1960 treaty recognizes the World Bank as an arbitrator in water disputes between the two countries as it played a key role in concluding this agreement. It allows India to have control over the water flowing into three eastern rivers- Beas, Ravi and Sutlej, also permitting India to use the water of western rivers-Chenab, Jhelum and Indus. However, it does not allow India to divert the flow of the water.

Read More: Pakistan reaches to World Bank against India on Kishanganga dam

India considers this as a permission to build “run-of-the-river” hydel projects that neither change the course of the river nor deplete the water level downstream.

According to Wikipedia, the Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant is part of a run-of- the-river hydroelectric scheme that is designed to divert water from the Kishanganga River to a power plant in the Jhelum river basin. It is located 5-km north of Bandipore in Jammu and Kashmir.

The construction of the dam was temporarily halted by International Court of Arbitration (ICA) in October 2011 due to Pakistan’s protest of its effect on the flow of the Kishanganga River, which is known as Neelam River in Pakistan.

Read More:  Dawn: Pakistan lost diplomatic battle on Kishanganga dam

However, in February 2013, the ICA ruled that India could divert all the water leaving a minimum amount to the downstream of the dam for the purpose of environmental flows.

First unit of 110 MW capacity was tested in March this year, while all three units of equal capacity were commissioned and synchronized with the electricity grid by 30 March. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the project in May this year.

Read More: Pakistan asks World Bank to vouch India abiding IWT

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Bigg Boss 14 contestant Rahul Vaidya struggles walking in knee deep water, compares Dubai rains with Mumbai floods

Singer and TV personality Rahul Vaidya was recently stranded in the Dubai rains.

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Rahul Vaidya, who was in Dubai ahead of his show which was scheduled to take place today, left the country due to heavy rains and reached Kolkata. The artist shared on social media his encounters in the UAE city, including challenges like walking through knee-deep water. Rahul provided an update regarding the heavy rainfall in Dubai on his Instagram profile.

The Bigg Boss 14 contestant revealed that he was in Kolkata and prepared to do an evening performance. Recalling the terrifying period he went through, Vaidya said there was a lot of confusion and panic in Dubai. The situation was similar to that when heavy floods hit Mumbai in 2005.

Vaiday also posted seval other images and videos of cars that were underwater and flooded roadways. The Bigg Boss 14 contestant, who shared his ordeal, claimed that even though it had just rained for two hours, the situation was dire.

In one of the video, which went viral he can be seen struggling in walking in knee-deep water. He can be also seen holding his sneakers in one hand and with other hand he was seen managing other things.

This is the result of the two hours of rain that it had, he can be heard saying in the video. Vidya also said he dosen’t believe Dubai is accustomed to a lot of rain. Everything had stopped working, he remarked.

After taking part in the first season of the singing reality show Indian Idol, Rahul Vaidya gained widespread recognition. In addition to Bigg Boss, he took part in Khatron Ke Khiladi 11.

Meanwhile, heavy rains that triggered flooding in the UAE and Bahrain, which left 18 people dead in Oman on Sunday and Monday, have paralyzed the financial hub of the Middle East, Dubai.

A lot of incoming flights were diverted from Dubai’s international airport because of the rain. At 7:26 p.m., the busiest airport in the world for foreign visitors stopped accepting new arrivals; a gradual resumption was announced for more than two hours later.

Images of planes navigating flooded tarmacs are making the rounds on social media.

According to pictures shared on social media, the flagship malls Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates both experienced heavy floods, while at least one Dubai Metro station had water up to the ankles.

There were several road collapses, severe flooding in residential areas, and numerous reports of leaks from windows, doors, and roofs.

Due to the unfavourable weather, schools around the United Arab Emirates were forced to close, and as more storms are predicted, the closures are anticipated to last until Wednesday. The government of Dubai allowed its staff to work remotely till this Wednesday.

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Dubai sky turns green during storm in UAE, video goes viral

The UAE witnessed record-breaking rainfall on Tuesday and the National Centre of Meteorology recorded 254 mm of rainfall in less than 24 hrs in the Khatm Al Shakla area in Al Ain.

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1 person was killed in UAE as it witnessed heavy rainfall on Tuesday, stranding commuters, flooding roads, disrupting trains and flights and resulting in water leakage from mall ceilings. The UAE witnessed record-breaking rainfall on Tuesday and the National Centre of Meteorology recorded 254 mm of rainfall in less than 24 hrs in the Khatm Al Shakla area in Al Ain. It is being said that the rainfall was the highest documented since the start of data collection in 1949.

The heavy rainfall in UAE came days after a similar situation in neighbouring Oman, where 13 people were killed in flash floods. Many parts of Oman saw torrential rains, which caused students to be trapped in buses and swept away motorists and trapped people in their homes.

Videos from Dubai circulating on social media showed widespread waterlogging on roads in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and other important cities. This left daily commuters in cars and other vehicles struggling to get back home. Dubai metro station too was seen flooded and closed.

One such video circulating on social media shows the aerial view of the city of Dubai from the top of a building. In the video the stormy winds are seen blowing over the city of Dubai. As the storm intensifies the Dubai sky turns green and ultimately gets covered by heavy rainfall. The video has gone viral on social media with more than 1.1 million views.

Another video showed water leakage from the ceilings of shopping malls, flooding the floors and destroying goods. A video which was shot in the famous Mall of the Emirates, showed pieces of ceiling falling as the rainwater gushed inside. Videos from many outlets of the Deira City Centre mall chain showed escalators being rendered unusable. Majid Al Futtaim, the company which owns the Mall of Emirates, said that the shopping complexes have been kept open and the customers are being sent away from the flooded areas. 

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Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda says statements on reclaiming Katchatheevu island from Sri Lanka have no ground

Devananda told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about Katchatheevu as elections are taking place in India.

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Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda has said the statements from some political leaders in India on reclaiming Katchatheevu from the island nation have no ground. He told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about the strategic island as elections are taking place in India.

The Sri Lankan Minister said he thought India is acting on its interests to secure this place to ensure Sri Lankan fishermen would not have any access to that area and that Sri Lanka should not claim any rights in that resourceful area. According to the 1974 agreement, Devananda said Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen can go fishing in the territorial waters of both countries until the pact was reviewed and amended in 1976.

The amended agreement resulted in fishermen from both countries being barred from fishing in neighboring waters. India’s ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday steered clear of the row surrounding Katchatheevu island. To a volley of questions on the Katchatheevu issue, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal reffered to External affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s recent comments on the matter.

He said he would like to talk about the issue that has been raised. He added the External Affairs minister has spoken to the press here in Delhi and also in Gujarat and has clarified all the issues. He said everyone should look into the press engagements and they would find the answers to their questions there.

The remarks from Devananda, a Sri Lankan Tamil, came days after the Narendra Modi government accused the Congress and its ally DMK in Tamil Nadu of overlooking national interests by handing over Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka in 1974. The BJP has also been slamming the 2 parties for not ensuring the rights of the fishermen wanting to fish in waters around the island.

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