ICA order won't hit construction schedule: GoI

Greater Kashmir


New Delhi, Sep 29: Government today said the interim order of the international court of arbitration on the India-Pakistan dispute over the 330-MW Kishenganga hydro power project in Jammu and Kashmir will not “materially affect” the construction schedule.
 “The order clearly states that it is open to India to continue will all works relating to the Kishenganga hydro-electric project except any permanent work on or above the Kishenganga-Neelum riverbed at the Gurez site that may inhibit the restoration of the full flow of that river to its natural channel,” highly-placed sources in government told PTI here.
 They said India was free to utilise the temporary diversion tunnel “it is said to have completed” at the Gurez site.
 “We are also free to construct and complete temporary cofferdams to permit the operation of the temporary diversion tunnel,” the sources explained quoting the order.
 They said the Court has a copy of the construction schedule submitted by India which says the foundation work would only be completed in 2014, much after the final order of the Court which is expected in 2013. “The order is in our favour. It will not materially affect the construction schedule. As it is, work at the site is stopped during October-April period when the area is covered with snow and we are free to carry out permanent activities outside the riverbed.
 “We can build the sub-surface foundations of the dam which Paragraph 1 (c) of the order states,” the sources said.
 In an interim ruling issued on Friday last, The Hague-based Court, which was approached by Pakistan, said it was necessary to lay down certain interim measures in order to “avoid prejudice to the final
 solution” of the dispute as provided under the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960.