Kishenganga power project, to be inaugurated by PM Modi, was most challenging: Officials
Officials say that the project has been designed in a way that shells fired from across the Line of Control from PoK will pose no risk to it as almost 80 to 85 percent of the project is underground.india Updated: May 18, 2018 22:04 IST
Located in Gurez valley of Bandipora district in north Kashmir, the 330 megawatt Kishenganga Hydroelectric power project that will be inaugurated by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on Saturday was one of the challenging projects to complete owing to its strategic location.
Officials say that the project has been designed in a way that shells fired from across the Line of Control from PoK will pose no risk to it as almost 80 to 85 percent of the project is underground.
Director and CEO, Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), Arjun Dhawan termed the project as strategic and challenging. “The most of the project is underground and shelling will pose no risk to it. It is a safe and secure project,” he said, adding that people who were involved in this project worked like soldiers.
Constructed at the cost of Rs 4,000 crore, the project that began in 2009 got delayed by two years. The HCC constructed this project on behalf of National Hydro Power Corporation.
In 2016, the work on the project got hampered when shells fired from across the LoC had landed close to the dam and the dumping site, creating panic among the workers, who were shifted from Gurez to Bandipora using the 24km long underground tunnel. The tunnel now serves as the Head Race Tunnel-HRT to divert water from the dam in Gurez valley to the power house located in Bandipora.
“It was a very big challenge to motivate workers and get them back to the work at dam site and complete this project under adverse conditions,” said A I Benny, project manager, HCC.
“Even 2016 was a challenge for us when situation was adverse in the Valley due to protests and strikes,” he said adding that all trials have been completed and the project will generate 330 megawatts of the electricity once it will be thrown open. “Of the generated capacity, 12 percent power will be given to J&K as royalty.’’
The project faced its first challenge in 2010 when Pakistan appealed to the Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration complaining that project violated the Indus River Treaty and deprived Pakistan the water share to its power project that is under construction at Neelam valley in PoK, as the Kishanganga river flows into Pakistan. Next year the Court of Arbitration after visiting both Kishanganga and Neelum–Jhelum Projects in PoK ordered India to submit technical data of the project. In 2013, the court initially ruled that India could divert a minimum of water for their project. However, the court later allowed India to go ahead with the construction of the dam.
Pakistani officials consider this project harmful for its hydel power project in Neelam valley and say that it is going to adversely affect the 1,000 megawatts Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project that is under construction with the assistance of China on its side of the river.