NJHP to start generation in February next, Chief Engineer

MUZAFFARABAD:Much awaited and unique in its type in the country, Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Power Project (NJHP) has been set to generate electricity from February next adding 969 Mega Watts in national grid as almost 96 % of its work has been completed with remaining finishing touches and to be put on dry test within two days.

“All the civil works including tunnel boring, installations of generators and turbines have been completed and we are prepared to fill the composite gravity dam to put it on test within two days,” Project director (PD) and Chief Engineer of NJHP Nayyar Allauddin said here Tuesday while briefing journalists.

The project located in the vicinity of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, is unique in its type in the country and a difficult one as its infrastructure including dam, water channels and power house is under ground and the river Neelum has been diverted 19.6 kilometers long underground tunnels.

The River Neelum has been diverted at Nauseri, 41 kilometers of here while the power house has been constructed at Chatter Kalas, 22 kilometers south of the city and after passing through turbines, water has been released in the river 4 kilometers further away from the site through another tunnel.

The composite gravity dam, 160 meters long, and 60 meter high, has been constructed underground at intake point Nauseri having the capacity to store 10 million cubic feet of water with peaking reservoir of 3.8 million cubic feet to meet daily peaking requirements, Allauddin explored the salient features of the project.

Completed with a cost of Rs. 404.321 billion (as per revised PC.1), 5.5 billion units of electricity annually with a cost of approximately 7 rupees per unit and 15 years income will be spent on repayment of loans acquired to meet the cost of the project.

The Project will be operated by Neelum-Jhelum hydro Power Company having Chief Secretary Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) one of the members of its Board of Directors and an agreement between AJK government and WAPDA has still to be inked as it was under consideration in the Ministry, Allauddin said.

However, the PD said the clauses of the agreement have been approved by the AJK government and NJHP Company was working within the framework of that draft agreement as far as the construction of the project and implementation is concerned.

He spelled out the impression that after diversion of the river, Muzaffarabad and adjourning areas would face environmental hazards and counted a number of environmental mitigation measures, the NJHP Company carried out to meet such outcomes.

Rejecting the impression of dryness of river, Allauddin said only 3.8 million cubic meter water would be diverted while in summer, 5.3 cubic meter runs in the river and a minimum of 15 cubic meter, 530 cumecs, will be released in the river at every cost which was enough to meet the environment mitigations.