India and Pakistan are bracing themselves for the final order of the Court of Arbitration at The Hague in their dispute over the construction of the Rs. 3,600 crore Kishenganga hydro-electric project in North Kashmir.
Highly placed sources told The Hindu on Monday that the court, chaired by Stephen M. Schwebel, has asked the two ambassadors to be present when it hands out its judgment on February 18.
The 330 MW run-of-the-river power project is under construction by the National Hydro Power Corporation.
Pakistan had sought a stay on it while the dispute was being heard.
However, the court only restrained India from certain activities of a permanent nature.
The arguments concluded last August when a high-power team, led by the then Water Resources Secretary D.V. Singh, was told that the verdict will come out in February.
The arbitration was initiated by Pakistan against India on the charge that it had violated the provisions of the bi-lateral Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 that regulates the use of Indus rivers. India denied the charge and said the project was in conformity with the treaty.
The project is under construction on Kishenganga (called Neelam in Pakistan), a tributary of the Jhelum river. It diverts waters from a dam site to Bonar Madmati Nallah, another tributary of Jhelum.
For management of siltation/sedimentation in the project, India proposes to use the modern drawdown flushing technique that requires waters to be brought below the Dead Storage Level — a technique accepted by the neutral expert in the Baglihar dispute with Pakistan.