Govt vows to harness hydropower potential to make J&K power surplus in 5 years
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has set a target to harness the region’s hydropower potential to make the Union territory power surplus in next five years.
“In order to achieve this target, the administration has taken several path breaking reforms in the power sector which will change the dynamics of the power sector here,” an official spokesman said here.
He added that among the priorities in this regard was tapping the 20,000-megawatt (MW) power potential of the region.
In the past 70 years, only 3,500 MW out of the potential of 20,000 MW had been harnessed in Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesman said.
“Once the entire potential is exploited, J&K will have surplus power and can be an energy exporter. However in the past two years alone, the projects for about 3,000 MW capacity have been revived and subsequently put on track for operationalisation,” he said.
The spokesman said key reforms were undertaken in the power sector during 2020.
The J&K government had constituted a four-member task force on power sector reforms for implementation of initiatives, schemes and relief measures under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
“The initiatives included Rs 90,000-crore liquidity infusion to distribution companies as a concessional loan offering by Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and REC Ltd; tariff policy reforms encompassing consumer rights, promotion of industry and sustainability of power sector and distribution reforms in the power sector,” he added.
Reforms in the power sector were rolled out in the UT in 2019, with the formation of separate transmission and distribution corporations for Kashmir and Jammu divisions, he said.
The administration has planned new projects of 3,300 MW – which include four projects of Kirthai II (930 MW), Sawlakote (1856 MW), Duhasti stage II (258 MW) and Uri-I stage II (240 MW) – to be executed soon.
“Also, back in January 2021, in a historic moment for energy sufficiency in Jammu and Kashmir, memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed for implementation of much-awaited mega hydro power projects, including 850 MW Ratle HEP and 930 MW Kirthai-II HEP,” he said.
On that occasion, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha said the vision of the government was to harness hydro energy resources of J&K with a goal to double the energy generation by 2024 and also to prepare a strategy for efficiency through policies, monitoring mechanisms to ensure energy security for economic and social benefits.
On the transmission front, the spokesman said Rs 7,500 crore are being invested on system strengthening projects, which include 1,000 MVA transformation capacity already added at 220 KV level; creation/argumentation of six 220/132 KV grid stations and 875 MVA transformation capacity added at 132 KV level.
He said Jammu and Kashmir has achieved 100 percent household electrification under SAUBHAGYA before the target date. Over 3,57,400 beneficiaries were covered under the scheme.
Under Smart Prepaid Metering project, 40 percent of energy consumed will be metered via smart metres by March 2022, during which two lakh metres will be installed while eight lakh metres will be installed by March 2023 across the UT, he added.