Modi Inaugurates Uri-II Power Project

4 July 2014
Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: Prime Minister NarendraModi Friday inaugurated the 240-Megawatt Uri-II Hydro Electric Project (HEP) in north Kashmir's Baramulla district amid unprecedented security cover. The project owned by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) is second on river Jhelum at Kalgi, Uri and is located downstream of 480-MW Uri-I. Modi termed the renewable sources of energy as the 'answer to India's growing power needs', saying 'renewable energy, including hydro power is fast developing as an alternative to thermal power.' Modi, who made his first foreign trip to Bhutan last month after becoming Prime Minister, cited the success of the Himalayan kingdom in developing alternative sources of power as an example 'which impressed me.' The Prime Minister was accompanied by Governor NN Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and top officials of the NHPC at the function. On the occasion, Modi supported the Private-Public-Partnership model to improve the power infrastructure. This was Modi's maiden visit to Kashmir as the Prime Minister. The State Government had put in place stringent security arrangement in place for his visit as Kashmir witnessed complete shutdown on the call given by separatists. The venue at Uri was taken over by the elite Special Protection Group which had flown from New Delhi while the entire area was under strict security vigil. Elsewhere in Kashmir police and paramilitary forces were on alert to prevent and law and order situation. With the commissioning of the Uri-II, the NHPC has increased its hydropower generation capacity to 2009 MW in J&K. The other projects of the Corporation in operation in J&K are 690-MW Salal, 480-MW Uri-I, 390-MW Dulhasti, 120-MW Sewa-II, 45-MW Chutak, 44-MW NimoBazgo. Built at a cost of Rs 1724 crore, the Uri-II is estimated to generate 1123.76 MUs of energy annually from its four units of 60 MW each. It is a run-of-the-river project and envisages construction of a 52-meter high concrete gravity dam and an underground powerhouse connected to the dam by a tunnel. While the electro-mechanical part of the project was implemented by Alstom Ltd, the civil works were executed by the Hindustan Construction Company (HCC). 'Overcoming challenges has always been a specialty of our engineers and we have triumphed over every obstacle posed by difficult geographical conditions,' said Chief Operating Officer, HCC, Ambuj Jain, in a statement today. Like in case of other NHPC power projects, J&K, which is witnessing large power deficit, would be entitled to only 12 percent power as royalty from the Uri-II. Modi said J&K has a potential of production of 13000 to 14000 MW clean and environment-friendly energy for which 'all the efforts would be channelized.' He said J&K is on the path of development and progress and visualized many big milestones in coming days. The Prime Minister also announced up-gradation of Local KendrayaVidalya from High School to Higher Secondary for which admission would be started from the coming session. Taking a dig at the previous UPA government, he said had the issue of establishing transmission lines been taken up by it in the right earnest, the situation would have been much better now. Meanwhile, local media was barred from covering the Prime Minister NarendraModi's function to inaugurate 240 MW Uri-II hydropower project in Baramulla district. The authorities concerned had only invited news agencies for the function, drawing criticism from local media personnel. However in Jammu, local media was allowed to cover the function where Modi inaugurated rail service between Katra to Udhampur.