Hydroelectric project nears completion in Uri town of Kashmir

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Uri (Jammu-Kashmir), May 16 (ANI): The ongoing construction work on the hydroelectric project in Kashmir's Uri town has reached its final stage. It has a target capacity of 240 Megawatts (MW) of energy.

The Uri-II Project, operated by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), was commissioned in 2005.

But the construction work received a setback during the October 2005 earthquake that hit the border town.

This will be the second project on the River Jhelum in Uri town after the Uri I project that was completed in 1997 and is now producing 480 MW of electricity.

The project that costs over 17 billion rupees has offered employment to a large number of local residents in the area.

"Electricity will be generated through this project and the home state will get 12 percent free power as per the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) stipulation. The project expenditure is about 1724 crore rupees (Rs 17.24 billion). As of now 3,000 people are employed during project construction and this expenditure is indirectly providing benefit to many. For example, providing transportation, the manpower in construction work consists of 50 per cent locals," said P. C. Gautam, General Manager, NHPC, Uri-II project.

The 4.2 kilometer long tunnel, through which the water will be supplied to the powerhouse, has also been completed in time by the Hindustan Construction Company (HCC).

"The Head Race Tunnel (HRT) is about 4.2 km in length and underground work is always challenging. But the excavation work here is going on well, and we are not facing any technical problems. That is why we could complete the tunnel construction on time," Gautam added.

The local residents hope that this powerhouse would result in many more industries being set up, which would further provide employment to more people of the area.

"The first advantage of this project is that we will get electricity. There was a lack of factories here. So, when this power house will begin, then more factories will open up and we will get more employment," said Pervez, a construction worker.

The project is expected to be completed by February 2011.The NHPC generates 1,560 MW of electricity from various projects in the India's northern Jammu and Kashmir state, while the construction work to produce another 779 MW of electricity is going on. (ANI)

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