India and Pakistan have been granted a two-day extension for filing their submissions on the additional information sought by the Court of Arbitration in The Hague on the dispute between them over the 330 MW Kishanganga hydroelectric project, which is under construction in Baramullah district North Kashmir.
The extension was sought by Pakistan, highly placed sources told The Hindu. Both the countries were supposed to file their submissions by Wednesday.
Pakistan had objected to India diverting waters of a tributary of the Jhelum for the Rs. 3600-crore project, saying that water-flows to their downstream Neelam-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project would be affected. The Court had asked them to provide power generation and agriculture data on their project.
In its order in February, the Court asked India to provide statistics on power generation at the Kishanganga project as well as provide information on environment concerns at the dam site in Gurez. India, sources said, was ready with its submissions. At the same time, the Court had asked Pakistan to provide information on the power generation at the Neelam-Jhelum project.
Last month India sought “clarification” from the Court on the modern drawdown technique for silt removal in run-of-the-river projects. The Court restrained India from using the technique on its projects on rivers allocated to Pakistan under the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960. The “draw down” technique, which Pakistan has reservations about, requires depletion of reservoirs below the “dead storage level.”
In its partial award delivered in February, the Arbitration Court upheld the legality of India’s right under the treaty to divert waters from Kishanganga /Neelam river (a tributary of Jhelum) to Bonar Nallah, another tributary of the Jhelum, for the Kishanganga project.
The Court, however, held that India would have to maintain a minimum flow of waters in Kishanganga at a rate that would be determined by the Court in its Final Award, expected by the end of the year.
The Court is chaired by Judge Stephen M. Schwebel of the United States.
Keywords: Kishanganga hydroelectric project, Baramullah district, Indo-Pak water row