Press Trust of india

PM likely to visit J-K this month

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Srinagar, May 08:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Jammu and Kashmir for two days later this month during which he will inaugurate a hydro-electricity project and participate in the 100th birth anniversary celebrations of Ladakhi spiritual leader Kushak Bakula and a university convocation, officials said here today.

While the dates are yet to be officially announced, the officials said most probably the Prime Minister will arrive here on May 19 and dedicate to the nation the 330 MW Kishanganga hydroelectric project, whose progress was monitored by the PMO.

The project, located at Bandipore in north Kashmir, envisages diversion of water of Kishan Ganga river to underground power house through a 23.25-km-long head race tunnel to generate 1713 million units per annum.

On the same day, Modi is expected to fly to Leh where he is likely to participate in the 100th anniversary celebrations of Kushak Bakula, the officials said.

Bakula was seen as the force behind several political agitations in the region and was its voice all over the world. He was born at Matho on May 21, 1917, and educated at Geshes, Lhasa (Tibet). A scholar of the Mahayana school of Buddhism, he was head priest of the Spituk Gompa. He died in 2003.

The next day, Modi is likely to address a university convocation in Jammu before returning to the national capital, the officials added.

The Kishanganga project was started in 2007 but on May 17, 2010, Pakistan moved for international arbitration against India under the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 that regulates the use of waters in the shared rivers.

The Hague-based International Court of Arbitration allowed India in 2013 to go ahead with construction of the project in North Kashmir and upheld India’s right under the bilateral Indus Waters Treaty to divert waters from the Kishanganga for power generation in Jammu and Kashmir.

The international court, however, decided that India shall release a minimum flow of nine cubic metres per second into the Kishanganga river (known as Neelam in Pakistan) at all times to maintain environmental flows. Pakistan is building a 969 MW Neelum-Jhelum hydroelectric project downstream.

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