India prime minister dedicates 390-MW Dulhasti

India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dedicated the 390-MW Dulhasti hydroelectric project in ceremonies April 26 on the Chandra River in Jammu and Kashmir State.

National Hydroelectric Power Corp. (NHPC) reported it fully commissioned the project in 2007 when Dulhasti’s third unit was synchronized to the transmission grid. (HNN 3/29/07)

Singh said there is urgent need to tap the hydropower potential of the northeastern and northwestern Himalayan regions. He said only 1,865 MW of Jammu and Kashmir’s 14,000 MW of hydropower potential has been harnessed.

The prime minister said hydropower development in the Chenab Basin will be carried out at a faster pace. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the state wants at least three to four projects in the Chenab to be implemented by NHPC and the state government.

The run-of-river Dulhasti project was built by Jaiprakash Associates Ltd. (JAL), a unit of the Jaypee Group in the Middle Himalaya Mountains. It has a 65-meter-tall, 186-meter-long concrete gravity dam, 10.5-kilometer headrace tunnel, 298-meter tailrace tunnel, and an underground powerhouse containing three 130-MW turbine-generators.

Although work initially began in 1989 under a French consortium, civil construction was suspended in 1992, with the partially completed works taken over by NHPC. The company awarded a completion contract to JAL in 1997. In 1998, the government committed to fully fund Dulhasti and six other major hydro projects as part of a new hydropower policy.

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