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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Jammu and Kashmir: Strategically important Ujh hydroelectric project gets green signal from forest department

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The Ujh Multipurpose Hydro Electric Project (Project) in Jammu and Kashmir has now got the approval of the Forest Department. This project is also very important strategically. The project has got the green signal from the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Ministry of Environment. According to the FAC’s Minutes Meeting published a week ago, the project has got the green signal. In this project, there will be a loss of 609.1 hectares in Bilwar forest division and about 680 hectares of forest land with a large portion. According to project documents on the environment website of the Ministry of Environment, there are more than 200,000 trees on this land.

The Ujh Multipurpose Project in Kathua district is envisaged to use water from Ujh, a tributary of Ravi. This river is one of the three eastern rivers of the Indus Basin system. The Ujh multipurpose project will include the construction of a 116 meter high concrete face rock-fill dam (CFRD) and power generation of around 186MW. With this project, 31,380 hectares of land will be irrigated every year. Apart from this, 18.92 million cubic meters (MCM) of drinking water will be supplied in this area.

Water from Ujh river will have many benefits

It is a project of national importance. With this, maximum use can be made by using the water of Ujh river. This will provide geo-political strategic advantage. This project will help revive agriculture and power sectors on barren land. This project will also prove to be a boon in the dry Kandi belt. This will complete the water shortage in the dry season, while the monsoon flood will provide relief.

About 8,648 people will be involved in this project. Data on the Ambient website shows that the FAC noted that there was a difference in the number of trees for felting, which was 296,000 in the online proposal, and 338,000 confirmed by field officials during the site visit.

Ujh project will cut trees in large numbers

Due to this project a large number of trees are proposed to be cut. Every effort is being made to ensure that trees are cut only when felting is very important. However, felting will be done in a phased manner. The Jammu and Kashmir administration will also ensure that compensatory afforestation is done in the first year of construction of the project, and measures are taken after adequate planting for healthy growth of regenerated forest.

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