SRINAGAR: India’s hydropower giant, NHPC has signed MoUs with Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Corporation (JKPDC) to invest Rs 35,000 Cr in setting up five power projects in Jammu and Kashmir. The MoU was signed in presence of Raj Kumar Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Power, Manoj Sinha, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor and Dr Jitendra Singh, MoS, PMO.
The projects being implemented include 850 MW Ratle HEP and 930 MW Kirthai-II HEP, besides execution of long-pending Sawalkot HEP (1856 MW), Uri-I (Stage-II) (240 MW) and Dulhasti (Stage-II) (258 MW). An official spokesman termed the MoU as “a historic moment for energy sufficiency in Jammu and Kashmir”.
Though the MoU has not been released, Lt Governor dropped hints about the details. An official spokesman quoted him saying that “the MoUs signed today would attract investments worth Rs 35,000 crore for Jammu & Kashmir power sector and ensuring the region’s energy security and 24-hour power supply to the people of J&K.” Terming the MoUs as “quantum leap from being power deficit to becoming power surplus in the next four years”, Sinha linked it with the “uninterrupted power supply” in Jammu and Kashmir.
“As per the provisions of these MoUs, the projects will be handed over back to Jammu and Kashmir after 40 years of commercial operation which was not in case of earlier projects allotted to NHPC Limited,” he remarked. Sinha said the idea is to “effectively harness” hydro energy resources of J&K with a goal to double the energy generation by 2024. He said Jammu and Kashmir is currently capable of generating 14,867 MW power but the potential had not been fully exploited, and only 3504 MW power was being generated till now. “The works started now will ensure that another 3498 MW power is generated in the next three to four years,” the spokesman said. “The potential which was achieved in 70 years would now be doubled within the next four years only, maintained the Lt Governor.”
The spokesman quoted LG Sinha saying: “Out of the two agreements, the NHPC would work in association with the administration at the first and, the languishing Sawalkot project would be handed over to NHPC for completion under the second. The project has been perpetually postponed since its conception in 1984 and was expected to generate 1856 MW power.”
LG Sinha, the spokesman said, added further: “Jammu & Kashmir was deliberately prevented from attracting investments and despite having an abundant potential of power generation; its energy needs were not addressed. With the execution of new mega power projects, a number of other employment avenues would be generated for the locals. In addition to power generation, strengthening its distribution and transmission infrastructure would also receive our equal efforts.”
The occasion also witnessed the inauguration of as many as 19 important projects of PDD aimed at greater generation, efficient transmission and better distribution of power supply in J&K during the Mega inauguration ceremony.
R K Singh Speaks
Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Power, New & Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh assured extending every support of the GoI to the J&K Government for various reforms in the power sector.
Hydroelectric potential successfully ushered the era of development in various states including Sikkim & Himachal Pradesh. J&K should replicate the model. According to the national average, electricity in rural areas is 20 hrs and in urban areas is 22-23 hrs. J&K too will reach the milestone if the pace of development is kept the same, he added.
Locals will be trained and given employment in NHPC ventures; besides NHPC will see for the development of small hydro projects also, he maintained. We have to do our bit of duty to see electricity reaching every household 24×7, said the Union MoS.
Sinha On Prevailing Power Situation
Highlighting various measures taken by the Government to streamline power supply across the UT, the Lt Governor said that during the ‘winter preparation’ meeting conducted last year, efforts were made to ensure that except for the scheduled power cuts, the public gets regular power supply. Any disruption in power supply was directed to be rectified within minimum time and a customer care centre was also set up for the purpose in Kashmir division last month. A similar centre was also launched in Jammu division today.
Replacement of faulty transformers has been a serious issue and therefore, a deadline of 24 hours has been set, in case of urban areas, and 48 hours in case of villages, within which the transformers are to be replaced. Although we are supplying 15% more power in comparison to last year, still a lot needs to be done to achieve the desired results, he maintained.
On unscheduled power cuts, the Lt Governor said that he is monitoring the issue of unscheduled power cuts regularly. He also appreciated the efforts of PDD officers and officials for braving the weather and visiting problematic areas and resolving the power issues.
The Lt Governor expressed gratitude towards the Union Minister of State, RK Singh for promotion of clean and sustainable power resources. A number of works on renewable power resources are being executed under the able guidance of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi nationwide. India is fast emerging as a hub of renewable energy resources. To fulfil the Prime Minister’s motto of One World, One Sun, One Grid, we would also work on solar projects in J&K and help improve the lives of its people, observed the Lt Governor.
The quantum leap, from being power deficit to power surplus, being taken by the UT administration in power generation is dedicated to the public. I also assure that we remain steadfast in the resolution of power woes of the people of Jammu & Kashmir, said the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor said that the year 2021 has been given a stupendous start as the UT administration signed various MoUs for the development of Jammu & Kashmir, which include MoU with NAFED to bring reforms in the horticulture sector, for high-density plantations, cold storage cluster, market linkage and GI tagging of local products including the announcement of Rs 2200 cr investment in the UT by NAFED.
Dr Jitendra Singh’s Speech
MoS PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, in his address, said that the Mega Hydro Power Projects will not only generate employment but would increase the per capita income of J&K. He dedicated all the inaugurated projects to the common people of J&K.
All issues inherited from past regimes would be addressed meritoriously taking care of all the stakeholders. J&K will see a new dawn of energy sufficiency and thereby development in all sectors, he added.
Rohit Kansal Presentation
In his welcome address, Principal Secretary, Power Development Department, Rohit Kansal gave an overview of the hydropower potential of J&K. He said that the initiative will add more than 3500 MW of energy and will thus help J&K become power surplus UT. We have a natural advantage in hydropower, so we need to exploit it for the benefit of the people, he added.
Screening of film on Hydropower in J&K was one of the main highlights of the event. A video on various activities in the Power Sector in J&K by PDD was also screened on the occasion.
The projects inaugurated today during mega inauguration ceremony include – 24X7 e-Customer Care /Call-Centre for Jammu region to receive complaints and queries related to electricity supply and billing from general public; On boarding of Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS); 33/11 KV 10 MVA Sub Station at Anchidora, Khrew-II,Uri town , Bagh-i-Islam, Choon Budgam, Changmulla; 2×10 MVA 33/11 KV Sub Station Canal –II and 10 MVA 33/11 KV Sub Station Udhaywalla; Additional 50 MVA Transformer at Barn , Draba and Siot Grid Stations; Augmentation of 132/33 KV Grid Station Magam from 50 MVA to 100 MVA; Completion works in 19 IPDS towns of Bijbehara circle, Kashmir; Commissioning of 320 and 100 MVA transformers at Grid Station Alusteng. The dignitaries also flagged off a Bill distribution vehicle for Bill distribution and online payment at Village level.
Members of Parliament Jugal Kishore Sharma and Shamsher Singh Manhas; Chander Mohan Gupta, Mayor, JMC; Baseer Ahmad Khan, Advisor to the Lt Governor; Sh. SN Sahai, Union Secretary Power; BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Abhay Kumar Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, NHPC; Shri Suresh Kumar, Chairman Chenab Valley Power Projects Limited (CVPPL); A.K. Choudhary, Managing Director, CVPPL, Raja Yaqoob Farooq, Managing Director, JKPDC were present on the occasion.
Prominent among others, Former Ministers, ex-Legislators; Administrative Secretaries; Senior Officers of Civil and Police Administration and other senior officers of Government of India, J&K and CPSUs like NHPC, REC & PGCIL were also present