India prime minister dedicates 44-MW Chutak, 45-MW Nimoo Bazgo hydro projects

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the 44-MW Chutak and 45-MW Nimoo Bazgo hydroelectric projects Aug. 12 in his first visit to the Ladakh Region of Jammu & Kashmir State since becoming prime minister.

National hydropower developer NHPC Ltd. last year commissioned Chutak on the Saru River and Nimoo Bazgo (also spelled Nimmo Bazgo) on the Indus River.

Modi noted difficult terrain of Ladakh Region had isolated the borderland region from the national grid, making it dependent on traditional fuels, small hydro and diesel fuel. That situation is changed by the two rare hydropower projects, constructed at an altitude of 10,500 feet above sea level.

Modi focused on giving impetus to the power sector in Jammu & Kashmir, with his visit also featuring the laying of a foundation stone for the Leh-Kargil-Srinigar transmission system being built by Power Grid Corp. of India. The government of Jammu & Kashmir has committed to add 8,000 MW of hydropower capacity in the next decade.

The prime minister said the power sector holds the key to development and his government is committed to make Jammu & Kashmir in India’s border area the “energy state of the country.” He complimented NHPC for carrying out the projects in such rough terrain.

While the total power generated by Chutak will be supplied to Jammu & Kashmir, the new transmission line will enable part of Nimoo Bazgo’s generation to be exported to the national grid.

In July, Modi dedicated the 240-MW Uri 2 hydroelectric project on the Jhelum River in the Baramulla District of Jammu & Kashmir. NHPC put the project into full operation in May.

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