Pakal Dul Hydroelectric Project (HEP) is an under-construction 1GW HEP project on the Marusudar river, a tributary of the Chenab River, in Jammu and Kashmir. Marusudar river is located in the Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir. Therefore, the Pakal Dul power plant is also proposed to have a 400kV (132kV) electric substation near Kishtwar. The Pakal Dul HEP project laid its foundation stone in May 2018 and is anticipated to finish its construction by the end of 2023. This HEP is thus projected to become a fully-operational power plant from March 2024.
Aim of Pakal Dul Hydroelectric Project
The Pakal Dul HEP project is undertaken by the Chenab Valley Power Project Limited (CVPPL). With the primary aim of enhancing the state's power generation capacity, this project derives its funding from the PM's Developmental Package or PMDP for Jammu and Kashmir. It is expected to produce around 3,330 million units of energy annually. The dam will be influential in diverting water to the south through a headrace tunnel and into the power station on the Dul Hasti Dam reservoir on the Chenab.
The Pakal Dul power plant is hopeful of creating more than 3000 direct and indirect construction-related employment and approximately 500 operational jobs after its construction.
J&K will receive free power of about 12% from this project upon its first ten years of operation. J&K will also hold the first right to purchase the power from NHPC and PTC, which have 49% and 2% stakes, respectively.
Cost and Project Makeup
The entire project costs around 1.8 billion USD (81.12 billion INR), thus making the Pakal Dul HEP project the biggest HEP and the first storage project in J&K. Various public corporations hold significant stakes in CVPPL and consequently in this project. This includes the Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC), a 49% stake in CVPPL. Likewise, PTC India and the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) also carry a 2% and 49% stake.
Pakal Dul HEP project involves the construction of a concrete-face rockfill dam (of about 167m) and two circular headrace tunnels (of diameter and length of 7.2 m and 9.6 km, respectively). The Pakal Dul's main access tunnel or MAT is estimated to be about 263m long and 8m wide.
The Pakal Dul power plant will also feature an underground powerhouse. This powerhouse will be equipped with four 250MW turbines and generators.
Support and Criticism of Pakal Dul Hydroelectric Project
The Pakal Dul HEP project received a consortium of domestic and foreign countries in February 2014. These include major national power-generation companies, such as AFCONS Infrastructure, JAL, JP Prakash Associate Limited (JAL), and Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL). In addition, Snehal Engineering was also contracted to fabricate and install spillways and power intake structures of the Pakal Dul HEP project.
The project also received extensive support from Germany-based Voith Hydro in March 2019. Voith Hydro was responsible for delivering turbines, generators, auxiliary equipment, and switchyard.
However, the Pakal Dul HEP draws major criticisms from Pakistan, which heavily relies on the Chenab downstream. Pakistan views this project as a severe violation of the Indus Water Treaty- a claim that India strongly rejects.
The Pakal Dul power plant is a very promising project for the people of J&K. Not only does this project enhance the power-generation capacity of the state, but it will also be influential in generating various direct and indirect jobs in and around the state.
FAQs on Pakal Dul Hydroelectric Project
Q.1) What is Pakal Dul Hydroelectric Project or Pakal Dul HEP?
Pakal Dul HEP or pakal dul hydroelectricity plant is an under-construction hydroelectric project on the Marusudar river, a tributary of the Chenab River, in Jammu and Kashmir.
Q.2) What is the aim of the pakal dul power plant?
Pakal Dul power plant is aimed to primarily enhance the power generation capacity of the J&K state.
Q.3) How much energy is expected to be produced by the pakal dul dam in a year?
In a year, it is expected that the pakal dul HEP will generate around 3,330 million units of energy.
Q.4) How much does the entire pakal dul HEP project cost?
The entire project of constructing the pakal dul hydroelectricity plant costs around 1.8 billion USD (81.12 billion INR). This makes the Pakal Dul HEP project the biggest HEP and the first storage project in J&K.