Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 10
The National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) hopes to either quickly start work or speed up major projects in the Chenab Basin after the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir into a union territory.
Addressing the media here on Friday, NHPC CMD Balraj Joshi said the path had been smoothened for the construction of the Ratle, Pakul Dul and Kiru hydro-electric projects.
Joshi admitted that the working conditions were difficult but with several projects already commissioned in the state, including the Kishenganga that was commissioned last year, the public sector company was well versed with operating in difficult conditions.
NHPC will also contribute to the defence of the nation by leveraging on its experience of working in hilly terrain. On an experimental basis, the Indian Army has asked it to construct four bunkers and an equal number of caverns in the hills for storing ordnance. The bunkers and caverns will be built on the borders with China and Pakistan.
In addition, NHPC is poised to sign an agreement for a 449 mw project with the government of Himachal Pradesh. The terms of implementation are in the final stages and the NHPC CMD expects the contract to be signed this month. Like the J&K projects, the Dugar hydro-electric project will also be executed in the Chenab basin in Chamba district.
Among the projects in J&K, Joshi said the 1,000 MW Pakul Dul in Kishtwar district is a difficult project due to the terrain. It is being constructed in joint venture with the J&K State Power Development Department and Power Trading Corporation. The project on which work has started will cost Rs 8,112 at the 2013 prices but no timeline has been set.
However, in case of the Kiru project in Kishtwar, NHPC expects to complete it in five years. The project had been stalled as the then J&K government wanted the Centre to pay its share. “With the change in the political situation, it should be done. The tenders are being finalised,” said the NHPC CMD.
For the 850 MW Ratle project on the Chenab, Joshi said it was taken over from the GVK Group. The electricity produced would be cheaper because of exemptions earlier provided by the J&K government, he said.
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