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Baglihar Dam

The initiation of the project was done in the year 1992 and got its approval in the year 1996 but the construction of the project could only begin in the year 1999. The total cost incurred in building up this dam came out to be one billion US dollars. The construction of the dam was done in different phases. In the year 2004 first phase of the project got completed while second phase got completed in the year 2008 on 10th October. This power plant was presented to support total of 900 MW power dedicated to nation by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Brief Background

This project of Baglihar Hydroelectric Power Project is very close to the Pakistan territory at a distance of 120 km. The entire project of generating a total of 900 MW power was segmented into two phases where each phase was targeted to generate 450 MW of Power. The second segment of the project is considered to be an advance stage of first segment. The total volume of the basin in the project was made to hold 15 MCM that run on the headrace tunnel that had the capability of averting the water at the speed of 430 cubic meters per second. To accomplish this in the year 1999 in month of April a MOU was agreed between SNC-Lavalin of Canada and Jai Prakash Industries. The dimensions of the dam are 144.5 meters high and 2.1 km is length of the tunnel.  A total of five years of time was taken to finish the entire project of two phases and cost around Rs 3495 crores. As the time passed in the year 2002 in month of November the government declared that they had never estimated the cost of the project and hence at that time they declared the cost of the project to be Rs 4600 crores and thus the cost per MW came out to be Rs 10.22 crores. Later in the completion of second phase the cost of this phase came out to be Rs 1750 crores. The second phase was started in January 2003 and was completed in October 2006. A committee was set up in the year 2003 on March 25th was formed to keep the check on the activities of the Baglihar Dam.

Since the dam was constructed on the border of India and Pakistan hence this led to the dispute of utilizing the services of dam. Pakistan intervened to cancel the work of Baglihar dam many times but later the problem was solved in the year 2005 on 18th Jan.

Hydrologic Viability

The feasibility of generating 900 MW of power always does not seem to be practically possible since the water flow from the Chenab River is not possible. To generate 900 MW of electricity a total of 860 cumec of water was required but since always the same amount of water could not be fetched from the river hence always same power could not be produced. As the season changes to winter the power generation reduces to 690 MW as per generated by Chenab while 480 MW of power being generated in winters by UEI HEP. This amount of power generated is consumed in state of Jammu and Kashmir itself.


The maximum power is generated using the water of Chenab River in comparison to the power generated by all the other remaining Rivers. This has further led to increase in the landslide. There have been numerous power projects that are being run using the water resources of River Chenab and one of the major project running here is Baglihar Hydroelectric Power Project and Dulhasti. The gathering of sludge in the river Sawalkote is also the matter of concern. The buildup of sludge in almost all the rivers due to the landslides has been the reason of concern since this degrades the quality of rock from getting low to lower. As the amount of silt increases the probability to spend an usual life gets decreased.


The cost to build the power plant project named as Baglihar Hydroelectric Power project was estimated to be total of Rs 4000 crores and out of this allotted amount Rs 2700 crores have already been consumed. This cost is already considered to be too high. This cost led to an estimation of Rs 8.89 crores of amount spent to generate per MW of power that in comparison to 5 to 6 crores per MW which is considered to be very normal price for power generation. One of the major reasons of concern for this project is the cost incurred for the completion of the project. Since the cost of the project was an estimation but later it was considered that the cost of the project will increase and thus the cost of power per unit will increase to more that Rs 5. It has been seen that the people who are located all near to the dam usually aren’t capable of paying a meager amount of Rs 2 per unit and hence it is considered that it would be difficult for these people to pay the higher amount of Rs 5 per unit. This led to consider the reason that whether it is wise to invest such a large amount of money in this project. So the above reasons led to make a decision to segment the project into two stages.


The surroundings of the dam beautify the location and attract numerous visitors. Trekking along the nearby areas of dam is also another attraction.

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