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Web Exclusive | October 2012

Indo-Pak joint team inspects power project in Gurez

India and Pakistan joint team of officials, comprising arbitration experts, visited the 330 mw Kishanganga hydro-power project site in Gurez, near the Line of Control.

The 7-member team, mostly hydraulic experts, arrived in Gurez on October 14 morning in Air Force helicopters and visited the dam site, where the local officials from civil and police administration were already present.

The team spent about an hour at the site during which they inspected the implementation of the order of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague on the construction of the power house. Earlier, the team had visited the site in May this year as part of the court order.

Pakistan claims that the project violates Indus Water Treaty between the two countries. The hydro-power project is being built on Kishenganga (Neelum) River, which flows into Pakistan.

Pakistan has expressed apprehensions that with the construction of the power project, around 100 kilometers of river Neelam will dry up as water will be diverted to the Jhelum through Wullar Lake near Bandipora town. Presently, Kishenganga (Neelam) and Jhelum join each other at Domail, Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

As a consequence of this 100 km diversion of the Neelum, the Neelum Valley on the other side of the LoC is likely to face severe water shortage, according to Pakistani officials.

Pakistan argued that such a diversion violates the Indus Water Treaty of 1960, which would compromise Pakistan's rights over the river and reduce the flow of water into Pakistan significantly.

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