PM dedicates Dul-Hasti power project to nation

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Kishtwar, (JK), Apr 26: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today dedicated to the nation the 390 MW Dul-Hasti hydro electric power project constructed on the Chenab river in this mountainous district, about 230 km from Jammu. On the second leg of his two-day visit to the Jammu region, Dr Singh landed here this morning along with Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad for the formal inauguration of the Dul-Hasti project.

Using a state-of-the-art technology, water of the Chenab river is collected between the mountains at Dul village and channelised down to village Hasti via a 2.5 km tunnel where it falls on the turbines and electricity is generated. The project, the foundation for which was laid by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1983, had started full operations last year.

''The three-turbines of 130 MW each are functional since March 2007 generating electricity more than its capacity,'' official sources here told the sources.

The work on Dul-Hasti Power Project, which was sanctioned at the initial cost of Rs 183 crore, was undertaken in 1985 by five French partners.

Struck by delays due to terrorist threats, work on the project remained halted for about five years after the abduction of a French engineer in 1991, who was later released.

The government, however, pumped in more funds and the work on Dul-Hasti power project again commenced in 1996. Till now Rs 5,228 crore have been spent on this mega project, sources said.

Jammu and Kashmir gets 12 per cent royalty on the total power generation, which is supplied to the neighbouring states of Punjab, Uttarkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.

Besides the Dul-Hasti project, work on 600 MW Sawalakot and 450 MW Baglihar Power projects are also underway on the river Chenab in Ramban district.

Three more projects -- Pakal Dul (100 MW), Kiru (600 MW) and Kawar (520 MW) on Chenab in Kishtwar -- are also under consideration, the sources said.

A 360 MW Salal power project on the Chenab in Reasi district is already producing electricity to its full capacity.

Around 2,000 MW electricity is being generated by various power projects in Jammu and Kashmir, which has an estimated hydro-power potential of 20,000 MW, sources added.

UNI

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