In recognition of its achievements in energy-deficit J&K’s power sector, the state run Power Development Corporation (SPDC) bagged an award for Mohra project under the ‘Unique Project’ Category at the 5th India Power Awards at New Delhi on Friday.
Instituted by the Council of Power Utilities (CPU), the award is given every year to companies, corporations, authorities, departments and eminent personalities for their contributions in the field of power generation, transmission and distribution and other fields in energy sector.
The awardees are nominated through a rigorous process by a jury of members of national and international repute in the energy sector. Every year one award is given to a Power Project for its uniqueness. This year’s unique project award was bagged by Mohra hydro electric project primarily for its wooden water conductor.
An impressive award function was held at New Delhi in India Habitat Centre in which about 51 awards were given away by the Chief Guest Prof M R Srinivasan, Member Atomic Energy Commission; a nuclear energy expert of International Repute. The awardees also included foreign companies from China, Japan and Bhutan. On behalf of JKSPDC, the award consisting of a momento and a certificate was received by Executive Director Zahoor Ahmad Chat.
The 4 MW Mohra Multipurpose Hydel project, the 2nd Hydel Project in the sub-continent and first in Asia with a wooden water channel was commissioned in 1905. The water conductor is 10.35 Km long out of which 7.5 Km is wooden and rest comprises of six small masonry tunnels and four cut and cover conduits. The capacity of the project was upgraded to 9 MW in 1950. After the devastating floods of 1959, the power house which was washed away and was shifted towards upstream side and was re-commissioned in 1962 generating about 50 MUs of energy annually till the Power house again got damaged in 1992 due to floods.
The wooden water conductor now more than 100 Years old is now in decayed and damaged condition having outlived its useful life. As the water conductor has not been in use the damages have been aggravated which has been accentuated due to slides. To revive the project particularly its heritage character, JKSPDC has initiated the preparation of Detailed Project Report after which various works shall be tendered out for execution. These works would include complete replacement of Electro-Mechanical Components, tapping of additional water from nearby Hapat Khai Nallah- Boniyar, reconstruction of damaged portion of water conductor etc.To safeguard the existing power house from further flood damages, some river protection works have been executed by JKSPDC last year. JKSPDC has already approached MNRE for financial assistance by way of subsidy which will make the revival of the project techno- economically viable.
Read about Mohra, Kashmir’s heritage power project