LAHORE - The Water and Power Ministry yesterday sought explanation from the Indus Water Commission as to why it could not know that India had managed to get carbon credits on Ratle Hydropower Project from the United Nations, The Nation has learnt reliably.

In his reply, the commission stated the issue did not fall under its domain and that it was the responsibility of the Ministry of Climate Change or Foreign Affairs to look into the matter.

Islamabad has already announced to challenge in International Court of Arbitration the designs of 850MW-Ratle Project on the River Chenab and 330MW-Kishanganga Hydropower Project on the River Jhelum in Held Kashmir.

The carbon credits are awarded under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). It is a carbon trading scheme devised as an international tool for fighting global warming. A developing country can get some free funding/advantage from developed nations and companies for a project in proportionate to its credits.

Official sources say confusion prevails in the ministries of water and power, climate change and foreign affairs over India’s getting carbon credits on the construction of Ratle Project on the River Chenab in Held Kashmir.

Some news reports recently said India received carbon credits on the project from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It shocked the three ministries while no one of them is ready to take responsibility of the negligence.

“It is shocking for the government that carbon credits were given to India at a time when Islamabad had announced to challenge the construction of the project in International Court of Arbitration,” said the sources.

Islamabad had to face the same kind of embarrassment five years back when New Delhi secured international carbon credits for the Nimoo Bazgo Project. The project was conceived in 2001 and construction began in June 2005. India applied for carbon credits and the UNFCCC approved its bid in 2008.

Thanks to the efficient government officials, Pakistan did not challenge the UNFCCC decision until October 2011 and took three years to realise that India had violated both the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) and the conditions of the UNFCCC for gaining carbon credits on Nimoo-Bazgo Project.

Some officials in the W&P Ministry say in background discussions that India’s move would not leave any negative impact on Pakistan’s case against the design of the Ratle Project.

“The Indus Water Commission had raised technical objections to the Ratle Project design. Carbon credits to India on the project would not harm our case under the Indus Water Treaty,” said some officials.

Reports say India has planned to generate 22,000MW from the rivers in Held Kashmir till 2022. So far, India has built Dalhasti Hydropower Project of 330MW and Baglihar of 450MW. Now it is about to complete Kishanganga, while work on Ratle Hydropower Project is also on fast track.

Pakistan is going to challenge the designs of Kishanganga and Ratle in the International Court. It has also raised concern over the designs of three other projects being built by India on the River Chenab. These projects are: Pakal Dul (1,000MW), Miyar (120MW) and Lower Kalnai (48MW).