International court sides with Indian hydroelectric plant developer in Neelum River dispute

Neelum River Map

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) has upheld India's right to divert water from a Neelum River tributary for its 330-MW Kishanganga hydropower project.

Indian's National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) started developing the Kishanganga plant in 2006, before awarding contracts for its construction to the HCC-Halcrow Consortium in 2009.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has progressed in its plans to develop the 969-MW Neelum-Jhelum hydropower plant, which would also be located downstream from the Kishanganga on the same river system.

Fearing that India's Kishanganga might reduce the capacity of its Neelum-Jhelum plant by diverting water, Pakistan asked the neutral PCA to resolve the conflict under provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty in 2010.

The court -- located in The Hague -- ruled, however, that India was adhering to the treaty.

Treaty stipulates that the country which completes its project first will have priority rights to the river's waters, HydroWorld.com has previously reported.

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