The 1124 MW Kohala Hydro Power Project is the largest foreign direct investment under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) . Located in the north-east region of the country, the project is planned to be built in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), on a branch of the River Jhelum that flows into Azad Jammu and Kashmir. It will be the second of six hydropower schemes planned to be built on the Jhelum River.
Being a priority project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) (along with the 700MW Karot hydropower project), it is the first-ever largest scheme of the independent power producers in the hydropower sector of the country. “The project will take seven years to complete by the company under the CTG’s command. This will be completed under BOOT (Build, Own, Operate and Transfer) mode that means the company would be responsible for carrying out entire operation and maintenance of the project for 30 years after completion (till 2055). And after that the company would be liable to transfer the administrative and functional control of the project to the Government of Pakistan.
Protests erupted in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POk) when the project was about to begin. The main reason of the protests are due to the already visible impacts of the construction of another hydro power project on Neelum river called Neelum - Jehlum hydro power project which was inaugurated in April 2017. This latter plant has diverted 90% of the water from Neelum river causing ecological crisis in Muzzaferabad and Hattian Bala districts. The Neelum - Jehlum hydro power project has displaced 30,000 people and has affected 23 villages .
Moreover, people of POK has also reservation against Pakistan Water And Development Authority (WAPADA) for not paying royalty charges for electricity production as compared to other provinces producing electricity . Activist are also concerned with seismic vulnerability as the area went through devastation due to earthquake in 2005. Activists from civil society has filed petition in POK High Court as the company violated the No Objection Certificate (NOC).
According to this article , by December 2018 "The land acquisition process has been suspended. The petitions filed in courts by local landowners have initiated lengthy litigations. The government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) had succumbed to the intensive public pressure and wanted to resolve pending issues before initiating the Kohala project." According to the journalist, the Chineese company is about to disengaging machineries and Chinese staff, until the situation improves. This would entail that losing a huge sum of direct investment.
The article further points out that "Azad Kashmir has a long list of grievances originating from the neglect and injustices exhibited by WAPDA over the last several decades. Despite producing lion’s share of electricity in the country, AJK faces 15-hour long power cuts even during the severe winter weather. The Mangla Dam was inaugurated in 1965 but its royalty/water usages charges have not been paid yet to the AJK government at the rates being paid to KPK or Punjab. Likewise, WAPDA has not bothered to make a formal agreement with the government of AJK before commencing construction work on the power projects. The authorities in Muzaffarabad unofficially complain that WAPDA neither fulfils its commitments nor treats AJK at par with other provinces despite persistent appeals. There is a deep sense of unfair treatment across AJK." 
Due to the increasing pressure of displaced people in the capital city of AJK Muzaffarabad, a complete shutter down strike was observed on Thursday Jan 10th 2019 against environmental degradation on the call of "Save the River Movement". The civil society organization demanded the government and Water and Power Authority (WAPDA) to implement the proposed mitigation measures to overcome the environmental fall outs of Neelum Jhelum power project (NJHP) and to change the design of proposed Kohala hydro-power project and execute the power generation system along the river flow rather than diverting it through a tunnel .