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  • Context (PIB): Ratle Hydro Electric Power Corporation Limited (RHPCL) signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Rajasthan for forty years.
  • A PPA allows the customer to receive stable and often low-cost electricity with no upfront cost while also enabling the generating company to take advantage of tax credits and stable, certain income.
  • The “Run of River” Ratle HE project is on River Chenab in Kishtwar (Jammu & Kashmir).
  • With a generation capacity of 850 MW, it also has a gravity dam.
  • Pakistan alleged in 2013 that the Project breached the Indus Water Treaty, but the World Bank approved the Project.

Indus Water Treaty (IWT)

  • India and Pakistan signed the IWT in September 1960.
  • The World Bank is also a signatory to the pact.
  • The treaty provides for river water sharing mechanisms and information exchange between the two sides on the use of the water of the Indus River system.
  • Western Rivers (Chenab, Jhelum, Indus) are allocated to Pakistan, while Eastern Rivers (Sutlej, Beas, Ravi) are allocated to India for unrestricted use.

  • India is left with 20% water rights, while Pakistan enjoys 80% water usage rights.
  • India can also utilise western rivers for agricultural usage and “run of river” projects.
  • A Permanent Indus Commission was also constituted as a dispute resolution body with an annual meeting requirement.
  • Unresolved disputes are referred to the World Bank-appointed Neutral Expert.

Chenab River

  • The Chenab originates near the Bara Lacha Pass in the Lahul-Spiti part of the Zanskar Range.
  • Two small streams on opposite sides of the pass, namely Chandra and Bhaga, join to form Chenab.

Hydroelectric Power

  • Hydroelectricity (HE), or hydroelectric power, is electricity generated by harnessing hydropower (waterpower) to rotate the power-generating turbine.
  • It can be Conventional dam-based, Pumped, Run of the river or Tidal based on the source’s potential and topography.

Run of the River Project

  • Water coming from upstream is utilised to rotate the turbine to generate hydropower.
  • Small or no reservoir is built on it, so any oversupply goes unutilised.
  • A constant supply of upstream water is required for it.

Other HE Projects on the Indus Basin

Kishanganga HE Project

  • It is a run-of-the-river project in Bandipora (Jammu and Kashmir).
  • It requires diverting water from the Kishanganga River through the tunnel to a power plant.
  • Pakistan objected to it, arguing it would impact water flow in the Kishanganga River (Neelum in Pakistan).
  • India won in The Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration (CoA) in 2013.

Kiru HE Project

  • It has a 624 MW installed capacity, proposed on river Chenab (Kishtwar district).

Pakal Dul HE Project

  • It is a reservoir-based scheme proposed on river Marusudar (right bank tributary of river Chenab) in Kishtwar (Jammu & Kashmir).

Dulhasti Power Station

  • It is run-of-the-river with an installed capacity of 390 MW to harness the hydropower potential of river Chenab (Kishtwar district).

Salal Power Station

  • It is a run-of-the-river scheme with an installed capacity of 690 MW to harness the hydropower potential of the Chenab River in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.
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