NHPC's 240-MW Uri-II hydroelectric project missed its commissioning
target of March 2012 due to stoppage of work at
the project site by locals. In a letter to the Ministry of Power ,
NHPC informed that the works at the project were forcibly stopped
from March 19, 2012, by the local residents demanding employment
in NHPC, citing the terms of the MoU. This delayed the completion
of the project works.
The utility informed that the work of plugging of diversion tunnel
which was dewatered with great effort was also forcibly stopped.
Only essential services to safeguard the power station could be
restored after intervention of the local administration. The work has
been affected due to local issues at earlier occasions too. In view of
this, NHPC requested for the immediate intervention of the ministry.
In this regard, it stated that in
case of further delay in
resumption of project work,
the diversion tunnel plugging
activity may not be possible
at this stage due to high discharge
in River Jhelum and
may have to be taken up only
after October 2012. Thus, the
commissioning of the project may slip by almost a year resulting in
further time and cost overrun.
With respect to the demand of employment by the local residents,
NHPC informed the ministry that the MoU stated that after adjusting
its surplus staff, further requirement of group C & D posts will be met
by NHPC through local employment exchanges in J&K. In keeping
with this, as on date there are 156 employees in group C & D in Uri-
II Project, out of which 154 are from the state of J&K inducing 72 from
Baramulla district. Further, HCC and Alstom, the two main contractors
engaged by NHPC for construction of Uri-II hydroelectric project
have at present employed 553 and 390 persons respectively, from
the local area. NHPC has taken up the matter with the state officials
and the local representatives. However, the local representatives
remain adamant on their demand of employment in NHPC and
works continue to remain suspended.
The 240-mw Uri-II hydroelectric project, along with six other projects,
was handed over to NHPC under Prime Minister's Reconstruction
Plan through MoU entered on July 20, 2000 between Government
of India and the Government of J&K. After commissioning, the
project is expected to generate 1123.76 million units of energy in a
90 per cent dependable year.