The energy-deficient state will be generating additional 300 MW power as the Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Corporation (JKPDC) is commissioning two turbines of the Baglihar-II hydroelectric project with power generation capacity of 150 MW each,.
Senior officials of the JKPDC said they had begun the generation of 150-MW additional power by commissioning the first turbine of Phase-II of the Baglihar hydroelectric project in the Chanderkote area of Ramban district, while the second turbine of Phase-II would be commissioned by the end of this month.
They, however, remained tightlipped over the growing environmental concerns in the erstwhile Doda (Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban districts) due to the creation of the 30-km-long water reservoir in the Chenab after the construction of a dam for the project. The region already has the 690-MW Salal hydroelectric power project in Reasi and the 390 MW-Dulhasti hydroelectric power project in Kishtwar.
Pertinently, the first phase of the Baglihar project (450 MW) was commissioned in 2008 and the work for second phase started in 2012. Both the phases of 450-MW capacity each have a common reservoir up to Pul Doda in Doda district.
“We successfully commissioned the first turbine of Phase-II with power generation capacity of 150 MW on September 4, while all machines of the second turbine in Phase-II have been put for testing and we are hopeful about commissioning the second turbine by the end of this month,” said N A Kakroo, General Manager (Technical), JKPDC.
He said the third turbine of Phase-II would be commissioned shortly but they would run only one turbine of the second phase from next month as water discharge in the Chenab remained low during winter due to snowfall in the upper reaches.
Put together, all three units of the 450-MW project (Phase-II) would generate 1,302 million units of electricity.So far, the JKPDC-owned power projects generate about 761-MW electricity.
The commissioning of Phase-II of Baglihar power project would increase J&K’s generation capacity to over 1211-MW.
The estimated cost of the second phase of the project was Rs 3,113.19 crore. Nearly 40 per cent of the total power generation would go to the state Power Development Department to meet its energy requirements, while the remaining 60 per cent would be sent outside to generate revenue to clear loans taken to raise the project.
Environmentalists, however, have expressed serious concern over the increasing number of power projects on the Chenab. They said torrential rains, cloudbursts and massive landslides were the new dangers confronting the people of erstwhile Doda due to creation of 30-km-long reservoir in the region. The region falls in Seismic Zone IV.