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330 MW Kishan Ganga project to be ready by April

Finally after a wait of 9 years, 330 MW Kishan Ganga hydroelectric project in Bandipora district is set to be commissioned by April with Prime Minister Narendra Modi likely to inaugurate it, an official informed.
“The work on all the components of the project has been completed and two machines are undergoing final tests while the third machine is in advance stage of erection. The project is expected to be commissioned by April 2018,” said a senior executive of NHPC.
He said that Prime Minister Office has been monitoring the progress of the project. “And it is likely that PM will inaugurate the project in the next month.”
Sources informed that in order to clear decks for the commissioning of the project, union secretary power, A. K Bhalla inspected the progress of the work on its various components on March 10.
“He commended the team for its hard work and dedication in constructing the project in such a difficult condition and hoped that the project will start commercial operation soon,” officials add.
The project envisages diversion of water of Kishan Ganga river to underground power house through 23.25 km long head race tunnel to generate 1713 million units per annum.
The project was supposed to be commissioned in September2017. On its failure to meet the deadline, the executing agency was asked to complete and commission it by December 2017 end. However, it failed to meet the December deadline too. The work on the project was started in 2009.
The project is a run-of-the-river project located on a tributary of river Jhelum in the northern district of Bandipora. The project is being executed by the public sector National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) at a cost of Rs 5,783.17 crore.
The project has been designed to divert water from the Kishan Ganga river through a 24-kilometre-long tunnel for generating electricity and then send the water back to the Kishan Ganga.
Interestingly, Pakistan is building the 969 MW Neelum-Jhelum hydroelectric project downstream which, Islamabad contends, will be affected by the Kishan Ganga project.
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.

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