330 MW Kishen Ganga project may miss 2nd deadline

330 MW Kishen Ganga project may miss 2nd deadline

Some Works Still Pending In Powerhouse, Tunnel: NHPC Sources

The commissioning of 330 MW Kishen Ganga Hydro Electric Power Project (KGHEP) under construction at Gurez and Bandipora is likely to breach its December deadline by two months, official sources said.

They said, “There are some works still pending which could delay its commissioning.”

Earlier, the project was supposed to be commissioned in September this year. On its failure to meet the deadline, the executing agency was asked to complete and commission it by December 2017 end.

An official of National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) wishing not to be named said: “The September deadline was missed due to 2016 summer uprising in Kashmir and escalation in border tension between India and Pakistan due to which the work remained suspended for several months.

“Due to pending works in powerhouse and tunnel, the commissioning would further get delayed by two more months.”

The project is owned by Government of India’s NHPC with Hindustan Construction Company as the executing agency at a sanctioned cost Rs 3642.04 crore which was later revised Rs 5783.17 crore.

The project consists 37 metre concrete-face rock-fill dam which will divert a portion of the Kishan Ganga River through a 24 km long tunnel constructed at Malik Kadal area of Gurez.

The project has an underground powerhouse at Kralpora and Mantrigam areas of Bandipora with three turbines, each having a capacity of 110 MW.

A top district official said that 90% of the work has been completed as the 37-metre high dam has been filled with water. “But there are some construction works pending in the tunnel from where water will be diverted to the powerhouse to generate,” he said.

Pertinently, the construction on the dam of the project was temporarily halted by Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in October 2011 on Pakistan’s protest alleging that it would affect the flow of the Kishan Ganga River, known as Neelum River in Pakistan.

In February 2013, the Court at The Hague ruled that India could divert a minimum amount of water for power generation. In August 2017, India was permitted to construct the Kishan Ganga and Ratle Dam projects by the World Bank after Pakistan complained that the construction of these dams was not permitted under the Indus Water Treaty.

General manager NHPC, Amresh Kumar, did not respond to repeated calls from this reporter.

When contacted, deputy commissioner Bandipora Sajad Hussain said the project is targeted for commissioning by the end of this year and "hopefully it will be commissioned by December end as the work is in progress at full pace.”