Kiru HE Project Got Environment Clearance
In a major development, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has accorded environment clearance to 624 MW Kiru HE Project in J&K State. The forest clearance for the project has already been accorded by J&K State Government on 19.05.2016. Techno-economic appraisal (TEA) for the project has also been accorded by Central Electricity Authority on 13.06.2016. It is considered as a major achievement of Chenab Valley Power Projects (CVPP) Ltd. which took over the project from NHPC in June 2013 and within a period of almost three years it obtained all the major clearances for the project. CVPP is a joint venture amongst NHPC Ltd, JKSPDC and PTC India Ltd. established in 2011 to harness the vast hydro power potential of J&K State. In addition to the Kiru Hydroelectric Project, CVPP Ltd. also envisages the implementation of Pakal Dul Hydroelectric Project (1000MW), Kwar Hydroelectric Project (540MW) and Dulhasti (Stage-II) Hydroelectric Project (550MW) in Chenab River Basin.
The Kiru HE Project is proposed on river Chenab near village Patharnakki in District Kishtwar of Jammu & Kashmir State. The project envisages construction of a 123 m high concrete gravity dam with four intakes, four pressure shafts, an underground powerhouse of 4 units of 156 MW each to generate 624 MW of hydro power. This is a run-of-the-river scheme. The catchment area of the project is 10225 sq. km. Total land to be acquired for project is 179.78 ha, out of which 82.05 ha is forest land, 51.37 ha is government land and 46.36 ha is private land. Length of reservoir shall be 6.5 km with an area of 1.03 sq.km.
The Environment Clearance was issued by MoEFCC on 24th June 2016 as per the recommendations of Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC). The public hearing of the project was conducted by J&K State Pollution Control Board in November 2015. The Environmental Management Plan (EMP) as approved by MoEFCC with a total cost of Rs. 162.43 crores envisages detailed provisions for Biodiversity Conservation & Management, Catchment Area Treatment, Compensatory Afforestation, Fisheries Development, Solid Waste Management, Energy Conservation, Muck Disposal, Reservoir Rim Treatment, Disaster Management, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, etc. The implementation of EMP shall be monitored by the Northern Regional Office of MoEFCC on regular basis. A multi-disciplinary Committee (MDC) for monitoring the implementation of environmental safeguards during construction shall also be constituted.
The total cost of project is about Rs. 4640.88 crores and is likely to be completed in 54 months. The overall benefits of project to the State shall include a share of 49% power from the project besides 12% free power to State and 1% free power towards Local Area Development Fund (LADF). However, infusion of large quantum of money and development of infrastructure resulting in overall socio-economic development of the area shall be an additional benefit.