Water Ministry busy with national disputes in 2012

New Delhi: International arbitration against Pakistan over Kishenganga project, the Cauvery water dispute, bringing states on board for National Water Policy and the decision of a Supreme Court appointed panel on Mullperiyar Dam kept Water Resources Ministry officials busy in 2012.

Hearing in the international court of arbitration in the Hague finally concluded last year with India rebutting Pakistan's claim that the planned diversion of water for its 330 mw Kishenganga hydro project in Jammu and Kashmir violated a five-decade-old treaty.

Pakistan has claimed that the project would rob it of 15 per cent of its share of river waters. It also accused India of trying to divert the river in order to harm Pakistan's Neelum-Jhelum hydro-electric project.

On May 17, 2010, Pakistan had moved for arbitration against India under the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960.

The court is likely to deliver its verdict later this month.

In May 2012, the Supreme Court-appointed empowered committee on Mullaperiyar Dam, on which Tamil Nadu and Kerala are at loggerheads, concluded that the 119-year-old structure was "safe" and asked the Kerala government to reconsider its proposal to build a new dam.

The five-member committee headed by former Chief Justice of India A S Anand also recommended that the water level at the dam, located in Kerala's Idduki district and maintained by Tamil Nadu Public Works Department, can now be raised to 142 feet from the existing 136 feet.