Pakal Dul to be biggest HE project in J&K

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, May 19: 1000 Mega Watt Pakal Dul Hydroelectric Project on River Marusudar (a tributary of River Chenab) in district Kishtwar, the foundation stone of which was laid today by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is the biggest Hydroelectric project in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Project being implemented by Chenab Valley Power Projects Limited, a joint venture of NHPC Ltd (49%), JKSPDC Ltd (49%) and PTC Ltd (2%), is of strategic importance to India as well as J&K as this is the first project that shall utilize the permissible storage under Indus Water Treaty.
The proposed project will not only be the largest hydroelectric power project in the State but also the first storage unit. The project is expected to generate employment for 3,000 persons during construction phase and to 500 persons during operation stage.
It has been agreed that the Government of J&K shall be getting 12 per cent free power after 10 years of commissioning of the project and water usage charges as applicable. Additional 1 per cent free power will go towards Local Area Development Fund (LADF). Also, the State will have first right to purchase balance power.
With coming up of this project, the precious water of our rivers which were earlier going unutilized to Pakistan, can now be utilized for water supply and irrigation purposes in the region. This will immensely benefit for the local population.
Pakal Dul Hydroelectric Project will be completed in 66 months at an estimated cost of Rs 8112 crore and it will generate 3330 MU of electricity annually. The project envisaged construction of 167m high Concrete Faced Rockfill dam, the highest dam of its kind in India besides two Head Race Tunnels of 9.6 Km each, four Tail Race tunnels of 125m  each and a underground Power House of four units of 250 MW each (1000 MW).
The project is included in Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) and Government of India has sanctioned a grant of Rs 1192 crore to meet the equity contribution requirement of JKSPDC, one of the promoters and a sub-ordinate loan of Rs 2500 crore carrying interest rate of one percent.
Interests of the Project affected people will be taken care through proper implementation of comprehensive rehabilitation and resettlement plan approved by J&K Government.
The cost of land for house and house construction assistance, scholarship to children of the Project affected families, training program for skill development etc has been included in the plan. Also, a provision of Rs 40 crore has been kept in the plan for infrastructural development in the affected areas to improve the socio economic condition of the people.
Local Area Development Fund (LADF) will  be established after commissioning of the Project as per the Hydro policy of the Government of India and an amount of Rs 28 crore per year shall be available for implementing welfare schemes for the Project affected people on a continuous basis over the life of the project. Extensive CSR activities have also been taken up in the region for the development of local area.