5.RATLE HYDRO ELECTRIC PROJECT
- The Union Cabinet has given its approval for 850 MegaWatt(MW) Ratle hydropowerprojecton Chenab riverin Jammu and Kashmir.
- In June 2013, the then Indian Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for the dam. Pakistan ha s frequently allegedthat it violates the Indus Water Treaty, 1960.
Ratle Hydroelectric Project:
- It is a run-of-the-river hydroelectricpower station on the ChenabRiver, Kishtwar districtof the Indian Union Territory of Jammu andKashmir.
- It includes a 133 m tall gravity damand two power stationsadjacent to one another.
- The installed capacity of both power stations will be 850 MW.
The Latest Approval:
- It envisages an investment of about Rs. 5282 croreand the project shall be commissioned within a span of 60 months.
Pakistan’s Objections and Indus Water Treaty:
- The Pakistan government in 2013 had objected to the construction of the dam,claiming that it was not in conformity with the Indus Water Treaty.
- In August 2017, the World Bank allowed India to construct the dam.Pakistan has approached the World Bank with fresh protests, but the Centre hasnow decided to go ahead with the construction.
- The Indus Waters Treatywas signed in 1960 after nine years ofnegotiationsbetween India and Pakistan with the help of the WorldBank, which is also a signatory.
- The Treaty provides India an absolute control of all the waters ofEastern Riverswhile Pakistan shall receive for unrestricted use allthose waters of the Western Riverswhich Indiais under obligation to letflow beyond the permitted uses.
- The Ravi, the Beas and the Sutlejare together called asEastern Riverswhile the Chenab, the Jhelum and the Indus mainare called asWestern Rivers.
- This comes in the backdrop of India’s plan to expedite strategicallyimportant hydropowerprojectsin the union territory post itsreorganization, as the government plans to fully utilize its share of waterunder the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960.
- The task is seen as strategically vital in the context of China developing thecontroversial China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), part of its OneBelt One Road(OBOR) infrastructure initiative.
- The construction activities of the Project willresult in directand indirect employmentto around 4000 persons. Increase indisposable incomewill in turn lead to socio-economic developmentof theregion.
- Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will bebenefitted by getting free powerworth Rs. 5289 crore.
- The Power generated from the Project will help in providingbalancing of Gridand will improve the power supply position.
- Grid balancing involves increasing existing power generating infrastructure tosmooth out the supply of power.
- Through levy of Water Usage Chargesfrom RatleHydro Electric Project, during project life cycle of 40 years.