An initiative to harness its available thermal potential and a 5MW Technology-cum-Demonstration-cum-Resource Assessment Geo-Thermal project being set up in Puga, Leh has been awarded, the minister of state for technical education and power, Vikar Rasool said. He said that the state has a huge hydro power potential of around 11,000 MW in Chenab basin and several projects are under execution or planned along the river.
The minister stressed need for developing a comprehensive and integrated transmission network instead of laying individual dedicated lines is the requirement, besides the construction of pooling station of 765 KV level in the area so that upcoming projects can conveniently evacuate power to the any part of the country, this he said, needs to be expedited.
Highlighting the necessity of single window clearance at centre for timely clearance of power projects submitted by the states, the Minister said that development of small hydro projects was high on the priority of the state government for which an investor-friendly policy has been notified.
The Minister was speaking at the Power Ministers’ conference at New Delhi presided over by the Union Minister for Power, Jyotiraditya M Scinida.
As per a statement Vikar said that the state government was committed to development of hydro power projects in the state and is also aware of the challenges in meeting the aspirations of the local people apart from environmental and forest clearances, difficult terrain and fragile mountains which often lead to time and cost overruns making investors wary of investments in the sector. He said in the backdrop of rising local aspirations, the policy of 12% free power to the generating states needs to be revised for equitable development of all stakeholders, including local communities.
The Minister said that the process of clearance of hydel projects by various central agencies like CEA, CWC, Indus Water Commission and the Ministry of Environment and Forest needs to be streamlined and to be made time bound. He said that implementation of 14 RGGVY projects is under process in the state. However, he said that there was a sizeable portion of un-electrified/de-electrified and partially electrified villages/hamlets which need to be taken up under RGGVY Phase-II. He said that R-APDRP is under implementation in 13 towns of the state, while the works under all components of Part-A were also in progress adding that go line of 2 pilot towns is proposed to be commissioned by ITIA in April-2013 as data and recovery centre have been completed and hardware installation by ITIA is in progress. He further informed that the consumer indexing and asset mapping in two cities of Jammu and Srinagar is under process.
While thanking the Prime Minister for offering massive re-construction program in transmission sector, the Minister said that the benefits of the same can be better passed to the people of the state if matching investment is also approved for distribution segment. He said that an amount of around Rs. 1300 crore for transmission under PMRP should normally be accompanied with an amount of Rs. 2600 crore for upgrading the distribution system so as to manage the load growth over the years.