The 112 years old Mohra hydroelectric project in the state of Jammu and Kashmir can be revived as a heritage project by the J&K State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) soon. Constructed back in 1905, this project was the state’s first hydroelectric project and it is now on the radar of the J&K government. With an initial installed capacity of 4 megawatts (MW), the Mohra hydroelectric project was constructed as a run-of-river scheme, according to Indian Express. The JKSPDC is now aiming to revive the project with an increased power generation capacity of 9 MW for a functional restoration of the old powerhouse. With a project cost of approximately Rs 120 crore, the project is likely to go into the tender state by the month of April next year. The J&K State Power Development Corporation is set to propose the funding of the project under Narendra Modi led government’s Prime Minister’s Development Package.
Managing director of JKSPDC, Shah Faesal while talking about the project was quoted saying, “We have prepared the detailed project report (DPR). There are challenges with preserving the heritage character of the site. We are approaching heritage conservationists to see the options available for a revival of at least some part of the project, apart from power generation.”
The detailed project report that has been prepared by the JKSPDC for the proposed proposal of the project states that “by the year 1950 the powerhouse had lived more than its useful life &, therefore, proposals for replacement of the old electro-mechanical sets by new sets of higher capacity was felt imperative & thus prepared. This necessitated the redesigning/augmentation of the initial wooden flume (water conductor) & its other connected civil structures. However, when the argumentation proposals were still at the implementation stage, the old powerhouse got washed away due to unprecedented floods of 1959.”
The Mohra hydroelectric project that runs along the left bank of the Jhelum in North Kashmir is close to the line of control and its flume served multiple purposes. The wooden flume that is approximately 11 kilometres long is used as a water conductor for the project. For the revival of the over 100-year-old project, a heritage conservationist is being consulted by the JKSPDC. When the project was functional catered to the irrigation purposes of the villagers and also helped generate electricity. After the old powerhouse was washed away in 1959, a new powerhouse with an installed capacity of 9 MW was commissioned in 1962 and it generated electricity at a rated capacity till 1992. The same year, unprecedented floods damaged the project seriously and the project came to stand still, according to the report.