India can continue all but permanent works on Kishenganga: ICA

Islamabad: India can "continue with all works" related to the Kishenganga hydro-electric project in Jammu and Kashmir except any permanent work on the riverbed that may inhibit restoration of the river`s full flow, the International Court of Arbitration has said.

In an interim ruling issued on Friday, the court in The Hague, 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.

While proceedings continued at the Court, the ruling said, it "is open to India to continue with all works relating to the Kishenganga Hydro-Electric Project" except "any permanent works 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" after the final verdict.

The ruling, a copy of which has been accessed by PTI, stated that India "could proceed with the construction of the sub-surface foundations" of the dam, "erect temporary cofferdams and operate the by-pass tunnel it has said to have completed", "temporarily dry out the riverbed of the Kishenganga-Neelum at the Gurez valley" and "excavate the riverbed."

The court said that, under the current timetable, it intended to give its final verdict "late in 2012 or early in 2013."

It said: "It follows that it cannot be `necessary` to order a halt of any construction activity on the (Kishenganga project) that will take place after the issuance of the Court`s final Award."

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