Signs MoUs with PDD, JKPDC in presence of Union MoS Power, MoS PMO, LT Governor
Jammu, Jan 3: Jammu and Kashmir Government Sunday signed multiple memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the National Hydro Power Corporation, a Government of India enterprise, for the development and execution of various hydroelectric projects (HEPs) in the UT.
The implementation of 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) will involve Rs 35,000 crore investment and make J&K a power surplus region in the country, the government said.
The MoUs were signed between NHPC, J&K Power Development Department (PDD) and J&K Power Development Corporation, a public sector undertaking of J&K Government, in presence of Union MoS Power, Raj Kumar Singh; Lt Governor J&K, Manoj Kumar Sinha; and MoS PMO, Jitendra Singh in a function held here on Sunday.
Locals to be employed in NHPC ventures: Union MoS Power
The MOS Power, while speaking at the occasion, assured the J&K Government of GoI’s support for various power sector reforms.
“Hydroelectric potential successfully ushered the era of development in various states including Sikkim & Himachal Pradesh. J&K should replicate the model,” he was quoted saying, in an official statement.
“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.
He said locals will be trained and given employment in NHPC ventures; besides NHPC will see for the development of small hydro projects also.
“We have to do our bit of duty to see electricity reaching every household 24×7,” said the Union MoS.
The Lt Governor said: “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.”
“J&K is taking a quantum leap from being a power deficit to becoming a power surplus in the next four years. For the uninterrupted power supply, this is the most significant move by the J&K Government.”
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 said.
J&K to double power generation by 2024: LG
Speaking on tapping the full potential of hydro energy, the Lt Governor said the vision of the government is to effectively 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 mechanism to ensure energy security for economic and social benefits.
The Lt Governor said that the numerous hydro resources of Jammu & Kashmir are 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 potential which was achieved in 70 years would now be doubled within the next four years only, claimed the Lt Governor.
J&K’s journey from a power deficit to a power surplus region can only be realized with vision and planning. An entire overhaul is being made possible with the support of the Central Government without any expenditure by the UT administration, the Lt Governor remarked.
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, he added.
Underscoring the significance of clean, affordable and reliable energy as key factors for the growth of industries, businesses and society, the Lt Governor said that the UT Government is working on environmentally sustainable solar plants to augment renewable energy generation while reviving small hydro projects pending for a long time.
“Jammu & Kashmir was deliberately prevented from attracting investments and despite having the 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 Lt Governor said.
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.
HEPs will increase per capita income of J&K: Jitendra Singh
MoS PMO, 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.
“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 said.
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 occasion also witnessed the inauguration of 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.