Ratle Hydroelectric Plant

Coordinates: 33°10′55″N 75°48′19″E / 33.1819°N 75.8052°E / 33.1819; 75.8052
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Ratle Dam
Ratle Hydroelectric Plant is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Ratle Hydroelectric Plant
Location of Ratle Dam in Jammu and Kashmir
Ratle Hydroelectric Plant is located in India
Ratle Hydroelectric Plant
Ratle Hydroelectric Plant (India)
LocationDrabshalla, Kishtwar district, Jammu and Kashmir
Coordinates33°10′55″N 75°48′19″E / 33.1819°N 75.8052°E / 33.1819; 75.8052
StatusUnder construction
Construction began2022
Opening date2026 (est.)
Dam and spillways
Type of damGravity
ImpoundsChenab River
Height133 m (436 ft)
Active capacity10,000,000 m3 (8,100 acre⋅ft)
Ratle Hydroelectric Plant
Coordinates33°9′9.21″N 75°45′05.68″E / 33.1525583°N 75.7515778°E / 33.1525583; 75.7515778
Type4 x 205 MW, 1 x 30 MW Francis-type
Hydraulic head100.39 m (329.4 ft)
Installed capacity850 MW

The Ratle Hydroelectric Plant is a run-of-the-river hydroelectric power station, with permitted pondage under the Indus Water Treaty, currently under construction on the Chenab River, downstream of the village near Drabshalla in Kishtwar district of the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The project includes a 133 m (436 ft) tall gravity dam and two power stations adjacent to one another. Water from the dam will be diverted through four intake tunnels about 400 m (0.25 mi) southwest to the power stations. The main power station will contain four 205 MW Francis turbines and the auxiliary power station will contain one 30 MW Francis turbine. The installed capacity of both power stations will be 850 MW.[1][2] On 25 June 2013, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone for the dam. Pakistan has frequently alleged that it violates the Indus Waters Treaty.[3][4]

Project Status[edit]

Construction of the project was started in January 2022 by the EPC contractor "Megha Engineering Ltd"[5] The project is scheduled to commence operations in 2026. The 850MW facility is expected to generate up to 3,136 million units of electricity in a year. The Public Investment Board (PIB) of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, recommended an investment approval of $690m (Rs52.82bn) for the project in September 2020.

IWT dispute[edit]

Pakistan raised objections citing violations of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) which are being parallelly undergoing arbitration by a Court of Arbitration (CoA) and a World Bank-appointed Neutral Expert.[6] The following are the disputes, mostly technical in nature, raised on the project.[7]

  • Whether India’s proposed design for a maximum Pondage of 23.86 million cubic meters for the Ratle Hydroelectric Plant is based on a method of calculations that contravenes the Treaty, particularly Paragraph 8(c) of Annexure D?
  • Whether India’s proposed design for submerged power intakes at the Ratle Hydroelectric Plant contravenes the Treaty, particularly Paragraph 8(f) of Annexure D?
  • Whether India’s proposed design for low-level sediment outlets at the Ratle Hydroelectric Plant, in the form of a deep orifice spillway with five large, gated openings far below the Dead Storage Level and deep in the reservoir, contravenes the Treaty, particularly Paragraph 8(d) of Annexure D?
  • Whether India’s proposed design for gated spillways for flood control at the Ratle Hydroelectric Plant, with the bottom level of the gates in a normally closed position located approximately 31 meters below the Dead Storage Level and deep in the reservoir, contravenes the Treaty, particularly Paragraph 8(e) of Annexure D?
  • Whether India’s proposed design for 2 meters of freeboard at the Ratle Hydroelectric Plant contravenes the Treaty, particularly Paragraph 8(a) of Annexure D?

The CoA also indicated that the objections to the project were submitted by Pakistan after a period of three months not meeting the Annexure D (10) stipulation of IWT.[7] Annexure D (10) says that if no objection is received by India from Pakistan within the specified period of three months, then Pakistan shall be deemed to have no objection to the project.[8]


  • In June 2010, chief minister Omar Abdullah gave a letter of intent to construct a 690 MW Rattle HEP on tariff-based bidding.[9]
  • In October 2012, the state cabinet approved the project, enhancing its capacity from 690 MW to 850 MW.[10]
  • In June 2013, Prime minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone for the project.[11] Reports appeared in Pakistani press calling it "another blow to Pakistan's water interests". Pakistan's Indus Commissioner, Mirza Asif Baig said that Pakistan raised objections to the design of the project.[12][13]
  • In October 2013, it was revealed that the project was awarded to Hyderabad-based GVK Energy Limited on a build-own-operate-transfer basis for a 35 year period.[14]
  • As of May 2015, the project was yet to start.[15]
  • In January 2017, reports appeared stating that Pakistan wanted a Court of Arbitration to decide the disputed issues. India had instead sought for a Neutral Expert.[16]
  • In August 2017, the World Bank allowed India to construct the dam. It happened after Pakistan alleged that the construction of the dam was not in line with the Indus Water Treaty.[17] In October 2018, the state government approached the central government with joint venture proposals to resume construction. If a proposal is accepted, completion is expected at earliest in 2022.[18]
  • In November 2018, India decided to activate the construction of the project considering Pakistan's objection invalid under Indus Waters Treaty obligations.[19]
  • On 3 February 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was exchanged among NHPC Limited, Jammu & Kashmir State Power Development Department (JKPDD) and J&K State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) for execution of 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Project in the presence of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi at Vijaypur in the Samba district.[20]
  • In December 2019, construction works were started by India, pushing Pakistan to send the World Bank new protests against the dam.[21]
  • A fresh Supplementary MOU between NHPC, JKSPDC has been signed on dated 03.01.2021 to execute the project through a Joint Venture Company (JVC). In the supplementary MoU, the clause of MoU dated 3 February 2019 regarding purchase of NHPCs equity by JKSPDCL from the end of the 5th year after date of commissioning over 15 years through equal installments have been deleted. Now, the share of NHPC in the Joint Venture Company shall not be brought below 51% and share of JKSPDCL shall not be brought below 49%.[citation needed]
  • The previous MOU between GVK and JKSPDC was called off, since the construction of project was left over by GVK.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ratle Hydro Electric Project: Project Design Document". UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). 8 July 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  2. ^ "Ratle H.E. Project" (PDF). Ministry of Power. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 April 2009.
  3. ^ "WB pause gives India free rein to complete Ratle project". Archived from the original on 8 November 2020.
  4. ^ Abbasi, Ansar (20 July 2013). "Pakistan may go to world court if India pursues Ratle Dam project". The News International. Archived from the original on 20 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Ratle Hydroelectric Power Plant, Jammu and Kashmir, India". Power Technology. 13 February 2023. Retrieved 17 April 2023.
  6. ^ "Controversial Kishenganga and Ratle hydropower projects: WB to hand over projects' papers to arbiters, neutral experts on 21st". Retrieved 17 November 2022.
  7. ^ a b "Award on the competence of the CoA (pages 3 and 28)". Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  8. ^ "Full text of 'Indus Water Treaty' with Annexures, World Bank" (PDF). 1960. Retrieved 30 June 2023.
  9. ^ Indian PM sanctions financial package for Kashmir during visit, BBC Morning South Asia, 9 June 2010. ProQuest 365946466
  10. ^ Cabinet enhances power generation of Rattle Hydroelectric Project, The Northlines Jammu, 26 October 2012. ProQuest 1115111932
  11. ^ "PM lays foundation stone for GVK's 850 MW Ratle hydel plant in J&K". The Hindu Business Line. 25 June 2013.
  12. ^ Pakistan: Another blow to Pakistan's water interests...India starts building 850MW Ratle Dam on Chenab, Right Vision News Lahore, 12 July 2013. ProQuest 1399522881
  13. ^ Pakistan: Electricity from India a far cry, mired in deep-rooted water disputes, Right Vision News Lahore, 29 July 2013. ProQuest 1413138517
  14. ^ Youth Congress leader concern over delay in start of Rattle HE project, Early Times Jammu, 23 October 2013. ProQuest 1443795615
  15. ^ "Rattle HEP project hits roadblock". Greater Kashmir. 12 May 2015. Archived from the original on 1 July 2015.
  16. ^ Kishenganga to adversely impact Neelum Jhelum project: Asif, The Nation, Lahore, 18 January 2017. ProQuest 1859446886
  17. ^ PTI (2 August 2017). "Kishanganga project: India permitted to construct Kishanganga, Ratle projects: World Bank". The Times of India.
  18. ^ "Ratle power project: Govt proposes joint venture with Union power ministry". Greater Kashmir. 1 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Pak 'diplomatic sabotage' busted: India to go ahead with Ratle hydroelectric project, govt to send team to J&K". Times Now. 7 November 2018. Archived from the original on 25 February 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  20. ^ "NHPC, JKPDD & JKSPDC enter into MoU for Ratle Hydroelectric Project". The Kashmir Pulse. 3 February 2019.
  21. ^ Zaafir, Muhammad Saleh (15 December 2019). "Violating IWT India starts Ratle Dam's construction". The News International. Retrieved 30 December 2019.