Hague court rules on Kishenganga river

New Delhi, Dec 22: In a relief for India, the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) in the Hague in its ruling on the Kishenganga river over which India is building a dam has said a minimum of 9 cusecs of water should be maintained in the river at all times.

The figure is much lower than the 100 cusecs that Pakistan was pushing for.

India’s external affairs ministry spokesperson, in a statement, said that “Final Award” announced by the ICA “specifies the amount of 9 cumecs (cubic metres per second) of natural flow of water must be maintained in the Kishenganga river at all times, to maintain the environment downstream. This is much lower than the 100 cumecs of natural flow that Pakistan wanted to maintain.”

The court in its “Partial Award” delivered in February this year, had upheld “India’s main contention that it has the right to divert waters of the western rivers, in a non-consumptive manner, for the optimal generation of power”.

“These are technical documents that are being studied in detail by the experts,” the spokesperson said.

India is to build a dam on the Kishenganga river, a tributary of Jhelum, divert water through a tunnel 22 km long to a hydroelectric project near Bonar Nullah, another tributary of the Jhelum and return the water through Wular lake to the same river Jhelum and then on to Pakistan.

Pakistan had argued that diversion of water is not permissible under the Indus Waters treaty.

It had also contented that the Kishenganga project would adversely affect the 969 MW Neeleum Jhelum Hydro Electric Project it is building downstream.