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Web Exclusive | February 2013

Intl court upholds India's right in Kishanganga project

The International Court of Arbitration at The Hague has upheld India’s right to divert water from the Kishanganga hydroelectric project (KHEP) in Kashmir. Upholding of the international court on February 20 is a significant development in the Indo-Pak dispute.

Reacting to the development, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said that all the hard work has finally paid off. Pakistan has been objecting to the construction of the hydroelectric project on the Kishanganga river in Kashmir, which is called Neelum upon entering Pakistan.

In November 2009, Pakistan had proposed the establishment of a Court of Arbitration and the appointment of a neutral expert to resolve the Kishanganga dam dispute. Indus Waters Treaty, inked between India and Pakistan, provides appointment of a neutral expert by the World Bank as a last option to resolve water related issues between the two countries.

The Kishanganga plant, in Bandipora district of north Kashmir, 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.

Construction on the project, which began in 2007 was halted by Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration in September 2011 after Pakistan objected to the construction of 330 megawatt hydroelectric project. In November 2009, Pakistan had proposed the establishment of a Court of Arbitration and the appointment of a neutral expert to resolve the Kishenganga dam dispute.

Indus Waters Treaty, inked between India and Pakistan, provides appointment of a neutral expert by the World Bank as a last option to resolve water related issues between the two countries. Pakistan approached court of arbitration in the summer of 2010, disrupting Indian plans to divert water from the Kishanganga into the Bona Madmati Nallah.

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