India welcomes verdict on Kishanganga hydroelectric project

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 19, 2013 10:40 hrs

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday hailed the verdict of an International Court of Arbitration at the Hague on the Kishanganga hydroelectric project.

"You should congratulate us as we had put in lot of efforts. We have achieved success and you should congratulate the country for this. Our biggest problem has been solved," he said.

Meanwhile, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin also echoed similar sentiments on the issue, and said that the verdict has validated India's position.

"The announcement of the award of court of arbitration at The Hague is a reaffirmation of the validity of India's position regarding the Kishanganga hydroelectric project. It allows diversion of water for the Kishanganga project as envisaged by India," said Akbaruddin.

"It highlights once again that India is adhering to all the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty. Now of course the details of the award are being studied and we will take it from there further," he added.

Union Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat on his part said the court has maintained India's position.

"We are happy that finally, of course, it is a interim award, it is not the final award, but court has maintained our position that we have not violated anything and they have maintained that India has a right to construct a certain structure there and to divert the water to another tributary and we are studying the details of the judgement," he said.

An International Court of Arbitration at the Hague has ruled in favour of India on the Kishanganga hydroelectric project and upheld India's right to divert water from the hydroelectric project to Kashmir.

Pakistan had objected the hydroelectric project on grounds that it violated the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty of 1965. Pakistan had moved for arbitration in May 2010, claiming India was trying to divert the Jhelum River and the project would rob it of 15 percent of its share of river waters.

India had claimed the Indus Waters Treaty gave it the right to transfer waters between the Jhelum's tributaries to generate hydropower.

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. (ANI)

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