PM to inaugurate Baglihar hydel project Friday

October 9th, 2008 - 1:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghJammu, Oct 9 (IANS) Engineers at the Baglihar hydroelectric power project in the mountain-locked Chanderkot area of Jammu and Kashmir are working overtime on trial runs ahead of the inauguration of the first phase by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday. The 900-MW hydel project on the Chenab river is of two phases of 450 MW each. Manmohan Singh will be inaugurating the first phase of this “first Jammu and Kashmir-owned prestigious power project for this power starved state”. Work on the project started in 1999, and after escalation the cost stands at about Rs.52 billion.

The prime minister will address a public gathering at the Chanderkot Guest House ground from where he will inaugurate the project by pressing a remote button. Chanderkot is about 165 km north of Jammu on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway with high forested mountains overlooking it.

He will later fly to Srinagar where he will flag off the first intra-Kashmir valley train Saturday.

A three-tier security ring is in place for the prime minister’s visit.

Senior security officers are monitoring the Chanderkot area. Manmohan Singh is scheduled to arrive by a chopper after landing at the Udhampur airbase.

The militancy-infested mountainous forests pose a security concern. The area had to be checked in just a couple of days for the high-profile visit. All sides of this bowl-shaped highway township are infested with militants.

Inspector General Police (IGP) Jammu zone, Kumar Rajindra, who is personally monitoring the security arrangements, said: “We have a three-tier security arrangement in place. The outer most and upper mountainous reaches are being taken care of by the army while paramilitary and police are in the inner two security rings.”

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