Finally, work on 624 MW Kiru HEP to begin next month

Cos told to avail benefit of ease in restrictions

Project to address energy deficiency in Northern India

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, May 22: Easing of restrictions relating to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has paved the way for the start of work on 624 Mega Watts Kiru hydroelectric project in Kishtwar district from the next month with Chenab Valley Power Projects Pvt Limited asking the companies, which have already been awarded different works, to start mobilizing men and machinery immediately.
The project which is aimed at tapping huge untapped power generation potential of the Jammu and Kashmir will go a long way in addressing the energy deficiency in the Northern parts of the country besides being of immense help for this Union Territory.
Reliable sources told EXCELSIOR that the contracts for civil, hydro-mechanical and electro-mechanical works of the project were awarded to three different companies by the Chenab Valley Power Projects Pvt Limited on February 24, 2020. However, before the companies could start mobilizing men and machinery lockdown was imposed in the entire country in order to contain COVID-19 pandemic.
Now with the easing of restrictions relating to COVID-19 by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and administration of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir the Chenab Valley Power Projects Pvt Limited has asked the companies to start work on the project from next month by immediately mobilizing men and machinery.
It is pertinent to mention here that M/s Patel Engineering Ltd has been allotted civil works of the project while as M/s PES Engineers and M/s Andritz Hydro Limited have been allotted hydro-mechanical and electro-mechanical works respectively.
The Patel Engineering Limited has conveyed to Chenab Valley Power Projects Pvt Limited that it will have to mobilize only engineers as most of its machinery, which is required for the start of work on the project, is already available in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Actually, M/s Patel Engineering was executing some railway works in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and with the completion of such works the machinery has become available for utilization in the construction of Kiru project”, sources informed, adding “although there is no immediate scope for the start of work by other two companies but despite that they have been told to start mobilizing men and machinery so as to avoid any delay at the latter stage”.
When contacted, Managing Director of the Chenab Valley Power Projects Pvt Limited M S Babu confirmed that work on Kiru project will begin from next month. “These companies particularly M/s Patel Engineering have already placed the orders for the machinery and only transportation is required which will begin now with the lifting of COVID-19 related restrictions”, he added.
In response to a question, the Managing Director said, “we are hopeful of completion of project within the stipulated time-frame because of very less underground work”.
“Even the companies, which have been allotted the works, have already conducted the detailed recce of the area and they too have found the nature of job not much complex as compared to other power projects in the Jammu and Kashmir”, sources further informed.
The foundation of this project of immense importance was laid by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 3, 2019 and investment sanction was granted by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on March 7, 2019.
The project will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 4287.59 crore (at July, 2018 price level) which includes Interest During Construction (IDC) and Foreign Component (FC) and infusion of equity.
The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has already granted exemption on account of payment of levy of toll tax, State Goods and Service Tax (SGST), waiver of free power in a decremental manner and water usage charges for a period of 10 years from the date of commercial operation of the project.
The project is being constructed on river Chenab near village Patharnakki in Kishtwar district and it envisages construction of 123 metre high concrete gravity dam to generate 624 MW of hydropower. It has been designed complying with the requirements of Indus Water Treaty (IWT) and would generate 2272.02 MU in a 90% dependable year.