India and Nepal had signed a Treaty known as Mahakali Treaty in February’1996. Implementation of Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project is the centerpiece of the Mahakali Treaty. Required field investigations for the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project have been completed by a Joint Project Office (JPO-PI) in 2002 (except for some confirmatory tests). But mutually acceptable DPR of Pancheshwar Project is yet to be finalized.
The constitution of PancheswarDevelopment Authority has already been notified. For this, see link Notification.
Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project (PMP) is a bi-national Multi Purpose Project, primarily aimed at energy production and augmenting irrigation in India and Nepal.
A Treaty known as “Mahakali Treaty” concerning the integrated development of the Mahakali River, which included Sarada barrage, Tanakpur barrage and Pancheshwar Dam Project, was signed between the Government of Nepal and the Government of India on February 12, 1996. During the year 2009, pursuant to the Article -10 of the Mahakali Treaty, the Government of India (GoI) and the Government of Nepal (GoN) agreed and framed draft ToR for setting up the Pancheshwar Development Authority, as an independent autonomous body, for development, execution and operation of the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project as also to finalize its Detailed Project Report. To accomplish this shared goal, the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the PDA as agreed upon by the two Governments and as may be amended from time to time, were created. As per the Statute of PDA the administrative organs of the authority are the Governing Body (GB) and the Executive Committee (EC). In order to execute the specific tasks assigned to the Governing Body, five meetings of GB have taken place so far.
Pancheshwar Main Dam is proposed on river Mahakali (known as river Sarada in India), where the river forms the international boundary between the Far Western Development Region of Nepal and State of Uttarakhand in India. The dam site is around 2.5 km downstream of the confluence of river Sarju with river Mahakali. The project would comprise of a rock-fill dam with central clay core of 311 m height from the deepest foundation level. Two underground power houses at Pancheshwar dam, one on each bank of Mahakali River, each with a capacity of (6x400 MW) with the total installed capacity of nearly 4800 MW are proposed to be constructed. The power plant at main dam will be operated as the peaking station to meet energy demand in India and Nepal.
A re-regulating dam at Rupaligad is proposed around 27 km downstream of the main dam to even out peaking flows released from Pancheshwar power houses for meeting downstream irrigation water requirement. Here, two underground powerhouses on both sides of river with total installed capacity of 240 MW (2 x 60 MW on either bank) are envisaged.
The main dam (when impounded with water up to FRL) will form a reservoir of around 11,600 hectare area with a gross storage volume of about 11,355 Mm3. The submergence area on Indian side is 7,600 hectare, covering districts namely Pithoragarh, Almora and Champawat in the State of Uttarakhand whereas remaining 4000 hectares of submergence will be in Nepal.
The project aims at producing hydro power and enhance the food grains production in both the countries by providing additional irrigation resulting from the augmentation of dry season flows. Year round irrigation will be possible in agricultural land in Kanchanpur district in Nepal due to enhancement in flows during non-monsoon months. The project will generate 10055 GWh of energy annually at Pancheshwar and Rupaligad dam power houses during 90% dependable years. Power generated will be shared equally between both the nations as per Treaty. Irrigation benefits in form of annual irrigation will be about 0.43 Mha, out of this, annual irrigation in Nepal would be 0.17 Mha and remaining 0.26 Mha in India. In addition, due to moderation of flood peak at reservoir(s), incidental flood control benefits for both the countries are also envisaged from the project.
Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project is one of the top priority projects to be implemented in phased manner to reap the benefits of the project as early as possible. The work of preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) was entrusted to Water and Power Consultancy Services Limited (WAPCOS) by PDA and WAPCOS have in turn submitted the draft final DPR of the project to PDA in November, 2016. At present the finalization of Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the project is underway. A Team of Experts/Officials has been formed by both the countries for discussing and resolving all issues towards finalization of the DPR.
After finalization of DPR, the Pancheshwar Development Authority shall undertake the execution, operation and maintenance of the project, including the work of re-regulating dam at Rupaligad site in an integrated manner.Environmental Clearances:
The Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project requires Environmental appraisal from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) of Government of India. The proposal of Pancheshwar Multipurpose project was considered by the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for River Valley and Hydroelectric projects of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. On the basis of recommendations of EAC, the Terms of Reference (ToR) for Environmental Impact assessment (EIA) studies were issued during October 2016. The ToR defined the scope of study to ‘Identify the relevant environmental concerns and focus on potential impacts due to construction and operation of proposed project’ and also included the list of various aspects to be studied and provided in the EIA report. Based on the ToR, draft CEIA (Comprehensive Environment Impact Assessment) report, SIA (Social Impact Assessment) report, R&R Plan, EMP (Environment Management Plan) etc, have been prepared and forwarded to Government of Uttarakhand by PDA and WAPCOS in February 2017, for their concurrence before final submission to MoEF & CC. Public hearings have been held in the three districts of Champawat, Pithoragarh and Almora. Online application has been filed by PDA in MoEF & CC for Environmental clearance. The first meeting of EAC has been held on 24th October 2017 and a Sub-Committee of EAC has visited the project site in the last week of November 2017. Efforts for timely filing of online applications for Forest and Wildlife are underway by PDA/ WAPCOS.2.0 Sapta-Kosi High Dam Project and SUN Kosi storage cum diversion scheme.
After exchange of letter of Understanding between the two Governments in June’ 2004, a Joint Project Office (JPO) was set up in August’ 2004 to undertake detailed field investigations for preparation of DPR of SaptaKosi High Dam Project at Barakshetra in Nepal. DPR is under progress.3.0 Kamla and Bagmati Multipurpose Projects
The JPO-SKSKI has also been entrusted to undertake the feasibility study of Kamla Dam and preliminary study of Bagmati Dam Projects. These studies are in progress.4.0 Karnali Multipurpose Project and its present status
Discussion/finalization of DPR and other issues shall be taken up shortly.