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Kishtwar Region of J & K, North India’s Major ‘Power Hub’

Kishtwar Region of J&K: The Kishtwar region, located in the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) union territory, is known for its unique geography, cultural heritage, and natural beauty. Situated amidst the majestic Himalayan ranges, Kishtwar offers breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, lush valleys, and picturesque landscapes. Hydroelectric Projects in Kishtwar Region of J&K is also important for UPSC Prelims Exam and UPSC Mains Exam (GS Paper 3- Creating and developing Hydroelectric Energy Infrastructure).

Kishtwar Region of J&K in News

Recently, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology announced that Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir is set to emerge as a prominent “power hub” in North India, with the potential to generate approximately 6,000 MW of electricity once the ongoing power projects are completed.

  • In addition, the Minister highlighted that the excess power produced in Kishtwar would not only meet the electricity needs of other regions within the Union Territory but could also be made available to neighboring states.

Hydroelectric Projects in Kishtwar Region

The Kishtwar region is positioned as a significant power hub in North India. The surplus power from Kishtwar will not only be utilised for other parts of the UT, but could also be availed by other States.

  • It is worth noting that the most substantial power project in the Kishtwar region is the Pakal Dul project, boasting a capacity of 1000 MW.
  • The current estimated cost of the project stands at Rs. 8,112.12 crores, with a projected completion timeline of 2025.
  • Another significant undertaking is the Kiru Hydroelectric project, expected to generate 624 MW of power.
  • The estimated cost for this project is Rs. 4,285.59 crores, with a similar completion timeline of 2025.

Kwar  and Ratle Hydroelectric Project Details

Another Project located about 43 km from Kishtwar is Kwar Hydroelectric project with a capacity of 624 MW.

  • The estimated cost of this project is Rs.4526.12 crore and the timeline of competition is 54 months.
  • About 25 kilometers upstream of Kiru Hydroelectric project is another Hydroelectric project Kirthai II Hydroelectric project with a capacity of 930 MW.
  • At the same time, 850 MW Ratle project has been revived as a joint venture between the centre and UT of J&K.
  • In addition, the existing Dulhasti power station has an installed capacity of 390 MW, while Dulhasti II Hydroelectric project will have a capacity of 260 MW.

Other Developmental Initiatives in Kishtwar Region of J&K

Traveling to Kishtwar by road was arduous, with frequent blockages on the Doda-Kishtwar road due to landslides. However, the travel time from Jammu to Kishtwar has now decreased from over 7 hours in 2014 to less than 5 hours.

  • Additionally, in the span of 9 years, Kishtwar has witnessed remarkable progress and has been included on the Aviation Map of India, receiving approval for an airport under the Centre’s UDAAN Scheme, which was beyond anyone’s expectations.
  • Under the leadership of the Modi government, several notable developments have taken place, such as the establishment of three new national highways, including the Khilani-Sudhmahadev Highway.
  • Furthermore, a series of Degree Colleges have been established, along with the installation of mobile towers along the route of the Machail Yatra and in other remote areas.
  • Inclusive schemes such as Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana, Jan Dhan, Ujjawala, Sauchalaya, PM Aawas, Har Ghar Jal, Har Ghar Bijli, and Ayushman have successfully reached even the most remote and challenging areas of the country, including Kishtwar.

Significance of Kishtwar Region

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology also assured 100 percent reservation for locals in unskilled jobs for these projects and promised to give preference to local talent in skilled manpower requirements.

  • Not only do these projects address the power supply shortage in the UT of J&K, but they also serve as a significant investment that brings forth direct and indirect opportunities for the local population, thereby boosting the region’s economy.
  • Regions with untapped potential, such as Kishtwar, the North-East, and other hilly areas, will hold significant importance in India’s future journey over the next 25 years.
  • These regions, rather than the saturated states, will drive India forward as a prominent nation on the global stage, particularly as it celebrates its 100th year of independence in 2047.

Power and Energy Sector in India Importance, Growth, Industry Analysis

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