Srinagar: After almost half a century since it was first mooted, the New Ganderbal hydropower project finally found its builder on Thursday.
The J&K government has awarded the 93 MW power project on the river Sindh in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district to the infrastructure giant, Hindustan Construction Company (HCC).
The Sindh is a tributary of the river Jhelum.
The project was conceived of in the early 1970s but was put to bidding only in 2012. “Six builders submitted tenders, and HCC won after the bidding process was completed in October 2014,” a State Power Development Corporation official said.
He said the process got delayed as “the term of last government ended, and election process started in J&K”.
“The project was finally approved by the PDP-BJP cabinet in July this year, and the Letter of Intent (LoI) was issued to HCC within a few days,” the official told Kashmir Reader.
HCC, he said, is to sign the contract within 28 days from the LoI’s date of issuance.
In a statement issued today, HCC, which is currently building the Kishenganga power project in Gurez valley, said it had won the new contract from the Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation Limited (JKSPDCL) at Rs 810.37 crore.
After bagging the new project, HCC shares rose 3.3 percent intraday, its BSE filing showed. HCC had bagged the contract in 2014, but subsequent governments failed to clear the project for construction by the company.
The new power project will have three turbines with a capacity to produce 31 MW of electricity each. Construction is to be completed in 48 months.
In 2013, the Central Electricity Authority submitted its Techno-Economic Clearance, following which the project was okayed by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests after the required land was diverted to the project.
“The scope of work includes planning, design, engineering and execution of civil and infrastructure works as well as manufacturing, assembling, inspection, testing and commissioning of electro-mechanical and hydro-mechanical equipments,” the HCC statement said.
It may be noted that HCC has constructed over 25 percent of India’s installed hydroelectric power capacity and has an in-depth knowledge of the nation’s diverse terrain gathered over the last nine decades.
HCC has been operating in J&K for over five decades and has built one-third of the state’s hydropower capacity.
It completed two hydropower projects at Chutak and Nimbazo in the Ladakh region, funded by the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC). It is currently constructing a 1.5 km excess tunnel at the Sawlakote hydroelectric project. It is also involved in road construction in the state.
The New Ganderbal power project will be HCC’s fourth such venture in J&K. To oversee its construction, the JKSPDC has tasked Er Abdul Wahid as its full-time chief engineer.
With the allotment of the project to HCC, the official said that the project would transform the socio-economic structure of Ganderbal. “Apart from generating skilled and unskilled labour locally, the project will create capacity (amongst the people) to spend a huge sum of money annually,” he said.