From the last more than seven years, there have been several hiccups in setting up of the 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric power project.
Last week, the Public Investment Board (PIB) recommended the developing of the project through a joint venture company of the JK Power Development Corporation and the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation.
The PIB, in the Union Ministry of Finance, has also recommended an investment approval for Rs 5,281.94 crore for the project, including an infusion of equity of Rs 808.14 crore by NHPC in the JVC, as per an official statement.
The equity contribution of JKPDC in the company pegged at Rs 776.44 crore will be provided as a grant from the Centre.
The recommendations of the PIB will pave the way for final approval of the project and an early beginning of work on the project.
Various works such as the construction of access roads and diversion tunnels were started in early 2013 but were stopped as various issues came up between the erstwhile State Government and the Company which had been awarded the contract.
The is always good that such an important project is going to be revived and if all goes well it may be completed in next three or four years.
The Rattle Power project is a clean and comparatively less complex project with all clearances in hand and as such would not have been difficult to be taken up exclusively in the local sector without involving any outside partner. In the past there was opposition to handing over the project to NHPC as regards economic growth and even political power of the J&K. Now that decision has been taken it’s hoped it will change the things for good across the J&K including district Kishtwar. The revival of the Ratle project is going to bestow Kishtwar the distinction of being the nerve centre of power generation J&K.
Also, the project means a step towards harnessing J&K’s hydropower potential which is estimated to over 20,000 MW. Hitherto 16,000 MW has been identified and a good deal of it remains to be harnessed. As such a lot needed to be done which should be aimed at empowering the J&K.
The government says that the Ratle project would lead to an additional 3000 MW availability to supplement the demand-supply position in J&K and boost the overall economy of the J&K. Hopefully the endeavor is realized as promised.