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Union Cabinet approves Rs 5k cr investment for 850 MW Ratle hydro power project

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The project to create 4000 jobs for locals: LG Sinha

Jammu: The Union Cabinet 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 Jammu and Kashmir, an official statement issued here said adding that 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.

Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, while talking to media in Jammu, said that despite threats from Pakistan, the Union Cabinet that met today under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the project that will be commissioned in five years.

Stating that the power project worth Rs 5822 Crore had been approved by the cabinet, LG Sinha informed media that despite Pakistan’s threats to approach the International Court and the World Bank, the power project has however been approved finally.

The Government of India is also supporting the 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 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.

Giving more details, LG Sinha said that the project shall create about 4000 jobs directly and indirectly and first preference shall be given to the local youth of Jammu and Kashmir. The J&K administration and the GoI was committed to ensuring 24-hour uninterrupted power supply to each household in Jammu and Kashmir, Sinha said adding that the project share will be 51 per cent by NHPC and 49 per cent by J&K SPDC.

LG Sinha also said that in order to train the local people, the Ministry of Power and 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, observed the Lt Governor.

“Since independence upto 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 added. (With inputs from PTI)

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