Work on Zojila tunnel to start in June: Gadkari

Excelsior Correspondent

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating Baglihar Stage-II project at Chanderkoot on Saturday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating Baglihar Stage-II project at Chanderkoot on Saturday.

JAMMU, Nov 7: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi today dedicated 450 MW Baglihar Hydro Electric Power Project, Phase-II to the nation and said it will give an impetus to the journey of development, Union Minister for Road and Surface Transport Nitin Gadkari announced that Chenani-Nashri tunnel will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister in June 2016. Simultaneously, he said, Modi will lay foundation for construction of Zojila tunnel in June to provide all weather connectivity to Ladakh.
Addressing gathering at Chanderkoot after inauguration of Baglihar Phase-II and laying of foundation stone of Udhampur-Ramban and Ramban-Banihal stretches of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway by the Prime Minister, Gadkari said distance of Jammu-Srinagar highway will be reduced by 64 kilometers from present 300 kilometers.
“The highway is being constructed in phases. We will commission Chenani-Nashri tunnel in June 2016. The Prime Minister will inaugurate it. We will also lay foundation stone of Zojila tunnel in June next year to provide all weather connectivity to Ladakh,” Gadkari said.
While Gadkari announced that 4-laning work on Jammu-Srinagar highway will be completed in two years, a documentary screened by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) said work on Udhampur-Ramban stretch will be completed in 36 months and Udhampur-Banihal section in 42 months.
The Centre has already approved Rs 4306 cr for Udhampur-Banihal stretches of the highway.
Gadkari said the distance between Jammu to Srinagar will be reduced to two hours while the NHAI said it will be reduced to five hours.
Gadkari also reiterated the construction of New Delhi-Katra Expressway via Haryana and Amritsar, which will shorten Delhi-Katra distance to just five hours. This will be only second Expressway in the country after Mumbai-Pune, he said.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said, the Baglihar Hydro-electric project will also prove to be a step towards safeguarding the environment for upcoming generations, he added. He inaugurated the project and laid the foundation stone for 4 lane highway project in two sectors of Udhampur-Ramban and Ramban-Banihal sections.
“Today, the electricity project which is inaugurated, the electricity which will be generated will not only give an impetus to the journey of development but also be a step towards safeguarding the environment for the upcoming generations,” Modi said in his address.
As per the details of the project, the 450 MW (3X150 MW) Baglihar Hydro Electric Project stage-II is the second in the series of Baglihar projects.
Stage-I of the project of similar installed capacity was commissioned in 2008. The project is located in the Ramban district on Jammu-Srinagar national highway-1A on Nashri bypass road.
The project area lies in mountainous and drugged terrain of the middle Himalayas with the relief ranging from 700 meter at the river bed level to a maximum of 3,020 meter.
It is a run of the river scheme on Chenab.
EPC contract was signed on March 31, 2012 and the project has been commissioned as per the target in September, 2015.
Different components of the project include 143 meter high concrete gravity dam (already constructed in stage-I) with 362.862 meter top length.
The design discharge of the project is 430 cumecs which is diverted from the reservoir through an intake structure into a 10.15 meter diameter concrete lined circular head race tunnel 1,888 meter long and a 27.50 meter diameter concrete lined surge shaft of 79.5 meter height (above orifice level).
From the surge shaft, water flows through three 5.5 meter diameter steel lined pressure shafts and then to three turbines.
After generation of power, water is led back to river Chenab through draft tubes, downstream surge chamber, collection gallery and 350 meter long tail race tunnel.
Electro Mechanical components of the project include three 150 MW Francis Turbines, three 168 MVA vertical shaft synchronous generators, Class-F insulation, nine+one (9+1) 16.5/400 KV, 60 MVA single phase transformers, 400 KV SF6 gas insulated switchgear, two 150 ton EOT cranes and EM+HM auxiliary Equipment (BOP).
The project will generate power between May and September every year. Annual generation from Stage-II project will be about 1,302 million units.
Forty per cent power generated by Baglihar will benefit Jammu and Kashmir while rest 60 per cent will go to the country. The project has been completed in three years at the cost of Rs 3113 crores.


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