NEW DELHI: Despite objections from Pakistan on 330 MW Kishanganga hydro-electric project on the Jhelum river in Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre has decided to fill up the reservoir this year, which could not happen last year due to law and order problem in the valley.
There has been push from the Prime minister’s Office (PMO) and water ministry which had last year submitted a blue print for exploiting India’s right over water under the Indus water treaty and of Brahmaputra river in northeastern region especially bordering China.
The decision was taken after the Uri attack in September last year when 18 soldiers were killed by militants in an army camp. The construction of the Kishanganga by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) was completed in 2016 and there were plans to fill the reservoir but that could not happen.
“The government has decided to fill the reservoir this year. This is in furtherance to Centre’s decision to exploit India’s right over water under the Indus Water Treaty,” said senior government sources.
The PMO had already directed the power ministry and J&K government for to expedite the work on two transmission lines of the project.
India and Pakistan officials had met in Islamabad in March to discuss issues related to Indus Water Treaty as part of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) meeting. Pakistan had concerns over some of India’s proposed hydroelectric projects in Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting was to be followed by another in Washington but that did not happen.
The project has witnessed long arbitration and the Court of Arbitration constituted under the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 had issued an order on September 23, 2011 for interim measures regarding construction of Kishanganga Hydro Power Project in Jammu and Kashmir. As per the orders, it is open to India to continue with all works relating to the project, which include the sub-surface foundation of the dam.
Located close to north of Bandipore in Jammu and Kashmir, it is a run-of-the-river hydroelectric scheme which will divert water from the Kishanganga river to generate power.