India, Pak officials to inspect 'disputed' Kishanganga dam site

Last Updated: Sat, Oct 13, 2012 11:42 hrs

Islamabad: A Joint Inspection Commission (JIC) of Pakistani and Indian officials would visit the controversial Kishanganga hydro-electricity project on Saturday to confirm that a stay order granted by the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) is not being violated.

The disputed power project is being built on the Neelum River at Gurez in Indian Kashmir, and in September 2011the ICA had stopped India from any permanent work on the project in response to Pakistan's appeal for interim measures against the dam, which may cause diversion of the river's flow.

The ICA is expected to announce its verdict in February 2013.

Pakistani officials claim the construction of Kishanganga dam on the Neelum-Jhelum River would deprive Pakistan of 13% of the river's water, which may deal a big blow to the country's agriculture sector.

"Pakistan is already facing a water shortage and a further cut in water due to the construction of Kishanganga dam may lead the country into a drought-like situation and cause a serious food security threat," the Express Tribune quoted a Pakistani official, as saying.

"When the stay order was granted to Pakistan against permanent work on the Kishangaga dam, the ICA had also bound India to arrange a visit of Pakistani officials to the dam site to ensure no compliance of the stay order," another senior government official said.

"We had noted during last visit that no violation of the stay order was made by India as permanent work on the dam was not in progress," the official added.

During a hearing in August 2012, in the international court at The Hague, Pakistan placed the matter for determination by the Court of Arbitration. (ANI)

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