Making 624 MW Kiru project commercially viable

To make the prestigious Kiru 624 MW Hydro Electric Project on River Chenab in Kishtwar district commercially viable, the State Administrative Council (SAC) accorded series of exemptions to it. The proposal for granting of such exemptions, otherwise much required for this ambitious joint venture loaded with contributing very significantly towards attaining self sufficiency in power by Jammu and Kashmir State, was thoroughly examined by various departments and purely on feasible operational grounds and decided that instead of exemption of 12 percent free power for first ten years of the COD of the project as was done on similar lines in case of Pakal Dul HEP, free power will be exempted in decrement(al) manner for the first five years of commercial operation of the project. Accordingly, it will be restoring to 12 percent from the sixth year.
The project, it may be recalled was planned as back as in the year 2007 and after a few hurdles, the project was in the year 2011 entrusted to Chenab Valley Power Projects Pvt Limited, a joint venture amongst NHPC Ltd, J & K State Power Development Corporation Ltd, and Power Trading Corporation of India Ltd. Anyway, travelling all the way and overcoming humps mainly like environment clearance, the project was duly appraised by Central Electricity Authority in its meeting in January 2016. Since a large chunk of forest land was required for the project in addition to other Government and private land, compensatory afforestation was going to be started and fully executed by J& K Forest Department under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA). In other words, the project is envisioned as an eco- friendly enterprise.
However, the break-up of this free power is in the first year exemption of 10 percent, in the second at 8 percent, 6 percent in the third 4 and 2 percent each in 5th and the 6th year respectively of the commercial operation of the project. Not only will the project cater to the increasing demand of the power in the State but would prove to be a well earning entity as it is estimated that nearly Rs. 4200 crores worth of revenues, the State would be earning on account of incremental free power for first five years and 12 percent from 6th year onwards and Rs. 4800 crores on account of water usage charges, aggregating to Rs. 8954 crores for the remaining life of 25 years of the project. Tariff of the project shall be approximately Rs.3.38 per unit during the first year and Rs.3.91 per unit as a flat rate.
We have been, for nearly two and a half decades, getting assurances after assurances towards attainment of self sufficiency in power generation and bridging the gulf between the demand and the supply of power and the project is loaded with much hopes towards that important end. No doubt, many small and big projects were conceived, planned and made to generate power but the fact is that we have not made much headway but this project being much ambitious would lead towards self sufficiency in power. This project is a run-of-river scheme project with an underground power house with four Tail Race Tunnels as also with four units of 156 MW each which would generate annual energy of 2364 MUs and is next only to Pakal Dul Hydroelectric Project.