Centre Okays Rs 5K Cr Investment In 850 MW Ratle Power Project

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  Site for Ratle Power Project in Kishtwar District | File Photo

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an investment proposal of Rs 5,281.94 crore for the 850 MW Ratle hydro power project on river Chenab in Kishtwar district of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, an official statement said.

The project will be constructed by a joint venture company (JVC) to be incorporated between National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and Jammu & Kashmir State Power Development Corporation Ltd (JKSPDC) with equity contribution of 51 per cent and 49 per cent, respectively.

The Government of India is also supporting the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir by providing grant of Rs 776.44 crore for equity contribution of JKSPDC in the JVC, the statement added.

NHPC shall invest Rs 808.14 crore from its internal resources. The Ratle hydro electric project shall be commissioned within 60 months.

The power generated from the project will help in providing balancing of the grid and improve the power supply position, it added.

To make the project viable, the government of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir will extend exemption from levy of water usage charges for 10 years after commissioning of the project, reimbursement of state’s share of GST (SGST) and waiver of free power to the UT in a decremental manner.

That is, the free power to the Union Territory would be 1 per cent in the first year after commissioning of the project and rise at the rate of 1 per cent per year to 12 per cent in the 12th year, it added.

The construction activities of the project will result in direct and indirect employment to around 4,000 persons and will contribute to overall socio-economic development of the Union Territory.

Further, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be getting free power worth Rs 5,289 crore and levy of water usage charges worth Rs 9,581 crore during the project life cycle of 40 years

LG Terms Centre’s Decision ‘Historic’

Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi for approving Rs 5281.94 crore investment for 850 megawatt (MW) Ratle hydropower project on Chenab river, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha on Wednesday slammed previous regimes for “depriving Jammu & Kashmir of this mega project because of Pakistan’s threat”.

Addressing a press conference here, LG termed the approval of power project by the Cabinet as a historical decision for making J&K power surplus Union Territory, an official spokesperson said. The LG, he said, thanked the PM for approving the much awaited 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Project in Jammu & Kashmir at an investment of Rs.5282 crores and ensuring the unprecedented development of Jammu & Kashmir.

Accusing the earlier governments of lacklustre approach towards the execution of this important Hydroelectric Power Project, the LG, as per the official spokesperson said that Jammu & Kashmir was deprived of this mega project for so long because the previous regimes were scared to move ahead due to Pakistan’s threats of going to International court for arbitration, and making representation in the World Bank.

“But, today the nation is under the strong and decisive leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is taking bold decisions for the welfare of the people of J&K and has ensured that this project sees the light of the day, besides also providing equity contribution support to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” Sinha said.

“J&K is witnessing unprecedented growth and development in every sector; we are unlocking J&K’s potential to be self-reliant in the energy sector within a short span of time,” he added.

Highlighting the key features of the mega project, Sinha said that apart from making J&K energy sufficient, the project will create 4000 jobs in J&K, directly & indirectly, and will contribute to overall socio-economic development of the UT.

“In addition, the Kwar project (540 MW) has been decided to be taken up. This will result in an investment of Rs.4,264 Crores and create more than 2000 jobs in the UT,” he said.

He added that four more projects (Kirthai-II (930MW), Sawalkot (1,856MW), Uri-I (Stage-II) (240MW) and Dulhasti (Stage-II) (258MW) involving an investment of Rs.31,000 Cr have also been decided to be taken up for construction. These projects together with the two ongoing projects of Pakaldul (1000 MW) and Kiru (624MW) on Chenab river and its tributaries will result in an investment of about Rs.52,821 crores and create more than 12000 jobs in the Union Territory.

As per official spokesperson, the LG further said that to train the locals, the Ministry of Power / Ministry of Skill Development propose to set up training centres near the project sites in collaboration with NHPC Ltd, so that they can be employed in the projects.

“Since independence up to the year 2018, projects of only around 3500 MW had been set up in J&K. Against this, our government has taken up projects with capacity of 6300 MW to be set up in the UT in the next five years. This is double the installed capacity set-up since independence,” he said.

“This will make UT of J&K self reliant in power; lead to faster growth and development of UT of J&K and create a minimum 12000 jobs directly and indirectly. Such large scale investment has never happened in the past,” he added.

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