Kishanganga Project Expected To Meet 2016 Deadline

Kishanganga Project Expected To Meet 2016 Deadline

26 September 2012
Business Standard


Srinagar: The work on ambitious Rs 3,642 crore Kishenganga hydro-electric project in Bandipora district of north Kashmir is in full swing and is expected to meet the deadline of 2016. 'Rs 1637.73 crore stand utilised on the 330 MW power project so far... About 10 km, out of 23 kms long tunnel, has been completed,' an official said briefing Union minister of state for power Venugopal Rao. Rao, accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir minister of state for power Shabir Ahmad Khan, made an extensive tour of Bandipora yesterday and inspected the dam site of the project, 57 kms from here, a spokesman said. He said the team, which also included MLA Bandipora Nizam-u-Din Bhat, MLA Gurez Nazir Ahmad Gurezi, Director NHPC J K Sharma, Principal Secretary Power Sudhansu Pandey and District Development Commissioner Bandipora Manzoor Ahmad Lone, inspected the 23-km long tunnel which is in progress. The Kishanganga Plant, located five kms north of Bandipora, is part of a run-of-the-river hydroelectric scheme that is designed to divert water from the Kishanganga river to a power plant in the Jhelum River basin. Construction on the project began in 2007 and is expected to be complete in 2016, he said. However, the construction on the dam was halted by the Hague's Permanent Court of Arbitration (CoA) in October 2011 due to Pakistan's protest of its effect on the flow of the Kishanganga River (called the Neelum River in Pakistan). Pakistan approached the Hague's Permanent CoA, complaining that the Plant violates the Indus River treaty between the two countries by increasing the catchment of the Jhelum river and depriving Pakistan of its water. In June 2011, the CoA visited both the Kishanganga and Neelum–Jhelum Projects. In August 2011, they ordered India to submit more technical data on the project. India had previously reduced the height of the dam from 98 m (322 ft) to 37 m (121 ft). After Pakistan's application was first rejected, the court asked India late September to stop any permanent work that would inhibit restoration of the river. While India cannot construct the dam, they can continue on the tunnel and power plant in hopes that the court will allow the project.