Work On Kishanganga Project To Re-start By Apr End

Work On Kishanganga Project To Re-start By Apr End

23 February 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Nishikant Khajuria

Jammu: Following the International Court of Arbitration’s verdict upholding India’s right to divert water from the Kishanganga Hydro Electric Project, the executing agency is all set to restart work on the dam site in North Kashmir after a gap of around two years. 'We are fully geared up for restarting the work, which will begin as soon as the snow is cleared and weather conditions improve approximately by the end of April month', informed the sources. As the construction and allied work for diversion of water along the riverbed was already on as usual, there is little need for additional mobilization of men and machinery for raising the dam walls, sources added. Pertinent to mention that work on raising of dam walls at Kishanganga river in Kashmir was stopped in 2011 after the Pakistan objected to construction of hydroelectric project by India in alleged violation of Indus Water treaty between the two countries. However, the validity of India’s position regarding the project by allowing diversion of water from the Kishanganga river was reaffirmed by the Court of Arbitration at the Hague on February 18. The Hague Court upheld India’s right to divert water from Kishanganga river for the hydroelectric project. 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. 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. According to the sources, the Hague Court verdict has come at right time when the Hindustan Construction Company Limited (HCC Ltd), which has been allotted execution job on the project, was already gearing up for restarting the work that is halted every winter due to heavy snowfall and bad weather conditions. As soon as the snow is cleared, the work on dam site and along the riverbed will be re-started without any delay for timely completion of the project, sources said. With an installed capacity of 330 MW, the Kishanganga Hydro-Electric Project was started in 2007. National Hydroelectric Project Corporation (NHPC) is owner of this project worth Rs 3642 crore and 2016 is the approximate time for its completion.