India and Pakistan keenly await the final decision of the international court of arbitration at The Hague, which in February this year had given New Delhi the conditional nod to construct the Rs. 3600-crore Kishenganga hydro-electric project in north Kashmir.
Both countries are learnt to have submitted their documents to the court on Friday, paving the way for a seven-member bench to deliver its verdict on how much minimum flow of water India will have to maintain in the Kishenganga river, a tributary of Jhelum.
In February, the court in its interim award, had ruled in favour of India saying it had the right to divert the river water for its power plant. It had rejected Pakistan’s plea which said it was a violation of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty.
The court, however, had allowed this diversion to take place under strict conditions. It had also asked both sides to provide their respective data by June, which has now been done.
The dispute was taken to this international court by Pakistan in 2010, stating that this 330 mw project would rob it of 15% of its share of river waters.
Islamabad had also referred to the five-decade-old Indus treaty with New Delhi and argued that this project violated its provisions which regulate the use of river waters between the two countries.
The court had stated that this project was a “run-of-river” plant under the Indus Treaty, and India may accordingly divert water from the Kishenganga/Neelum river.