India approves hydroelectric projects on Indus and Soru
2 June 2006
The Daily Times
New Delhi: The Indian Cabinet on Friday approved two new hydroelectric projects to be constructed on the Indus River and its tributary, Soru River, in Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. An Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh-chaired Indian Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) meeting approved the Nimmo Bazgo hydroelectric project in Leh and the Chutak hydroelectric project in Kargil. An official statement said the proposed 45-megawatt (MW) Nimoo Bazgo Project in Leh would be near the Alchi village. A 57-metre concrete gravity dam will also be constructed and the project will cost around Rs 6,296.5 million. The Chutak HydroElectric Project will be situated near Chutak village, at an estimated cost of Rs 6,317.2 million. It will have four units of 11-MW each. The project will be completed in 54 months. India’s public sector National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) will construct both projects according to an agreement signed between New Delhi and the state government. Funds for the projects would be diverted from the allocations specified earlier for the Srinagar-Leh transmission line. The statement said Ladakh was the country’s most deficient area in terms of electricity supply in view of the topography and huge cost involved. “Only some pockets of the region gets power supply and that too far a few hours a day.” The Planning Commission had opposed the construction of both Nimo Bazgo and Chuttuk projects in view of the huge costs involved. “In view of the restriction imposed by the Indus Water Treaty, no pondage is allowed on river Indus As a result of this, the generation will drop down to less than one third of the installed capacity during winter due to low discharge in the river,” said a note by the Planning Commission.