Indus Water Commissioner, Mirza Asif Baig on Saturday said that International Court of Justice had allowed India to divert only minimum flow of water from Kishanganga for the purpose of power generation. According to an ICJ decision, “The construction of the Kishanganga dam by India in Jammu and Kashmir will result in a 14 percent decrease in the flow of water for Pakistan”s Neelum-Jhelum hydroelectric project”.
Talking to reporters here, the Indus water Commissioner said that India was constructing the Kishanganga hydroelectric project in Jammu and Kashmir. The gross capacity of the reservoir is 18.80 million cubic metres or 14,900 acres feet with a dead storage of 8,755 acres feet. He said the water of river Kishanganga was to be diverted through a 23-km-long tunnel to produce 330 megawatts of power but the water share of Pakistan could not be reduced or eliminated.
He said water would join the Wullar Lake after power generation and ultimately flowed down through the Jhelum River to Muzaffarabad. Declaring the court decision positive, he said it would save the Neelum Jhelum power project from destruction. He pointed out that India is bound to implement this decision for all under-construction dams. He said decision would also produce a positive effect on aquatic life besides agriculture sector.
He claimed the International Court of Arbitration had announced its verdict on the Kishanganga hydroelectric project in favour of Pakistan, “which is a great success.” He further said that International court of justice accepted the reservations raised by Pakistan against the construction of the Kishanganga Hydroelectric project in Jammu and Kashmir and had bounded India to release 318 cusec feet water for Neelum Jhelum Hydro power project He added that India was allowed to construct run-of-river hydroelectric plants and limited storage works on the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab rivers within the limits of design criteria provided in the relevant provisions of the Indus Water Treaty of 1960.
He said India was bound to provide detailed information and design data regarding its proposed projects. It is pertinent to mention here that the International Court of Arbitration at the Hague ruled in favour of India”s position on the diversion of Kishanganga water, setting aside objections by Pakistan.