Kishanganga project: India free to go ahead
The International Court of Arbitration has allowed India to go ahead with building the Kishanganga dam in Jammu and Kashmir, over which Pakistan had raised objection.india Updated: Dec 21, 2013 19:30 IST
The International Court of Arbitration has allowed India to go ahead with building the Kishanganga dam in Jammu and Kashmir, over which Pakistan had raised objection.
The court delivered its "final award" on Friday night after India requested clarification of an order issued in February. In its "partial award" in February, the court had upheld India's main contention that it had the right to divert waters of western rivers, in a non-consumptive manner, for optimal generation of electricity. The western rivers are allocated to Pakistan under the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960.
The "final award" specifies that 9 cusecs of natural flow of water must be maintained in the Kishenganga river at all times to maintain the environment downstream, said a statement from the Indian High Commission here. This is much lower than the 100 cusecs of natural flow that Pakistan wanted to maintain.
"We have also received the clarification we sought from the court with regard to the technique of draw-down flushing used for the de-silting of reservoir in run of the river power projects in the western rivers of the Indus," the statement said. The court said alternative techniques would have to be used for the Kishanganga hydroelectricity project, and all future run of the river projects undertaken on western rivers of the Indus system.
Contrary to negative propaganda that the Indus Waters Treaty had received in recent years, the international court award has shown the pact is a strong framework for dividing river waters between India and Pakistan, reads the statement. "The treaty has stood the test of time and ups and downs in India-Pakistan relations. It is hoped that the negative arguments often heard on its working will be put to rest finally," it added.