SRINAGAR: Saying that Hydro Power is a renewable, economic and eco-friendly benign source of energy, the Minister of State for Power Mr. Shabir Ahmad Khan reiterated state government’s commitment to make the J&K self-reliant in electricity and to provide hydro energy to other states near in future.
Addressing to the guest delegates who participated in 2-day National Hydro-Power Convention held at SKICC, organized by India Tech Foundation on “harnessing hydro-power in Northern Himalayan-challenges and opportunities”, with special focus on Jammu and Kashmir, the Minister said that government is attaching significant importance to the development of hydro power potential which can bring a turnaround in the state’s economy and power situation. “Development of hydro electric projects requires substantial investments and the objectives of rapid development of hydro power potential cannot be met state funding alone”, he revealed and added that State has, therefore, to look at alternative investment possibilities like private partnership, state funding of projects and private sector investments. He said recognizing this, the government has already laid down implementation architecture for execution of the projects through these modes.
The Minister said that hydro convention provides an ideal opportunity for discussing the issues and concerns faced by the States and private developers in implementations of hydro projects. He said it would be the responsibility of the State and Central authorities to consider the recommendations of the experts presented during conference for rapid hydro power development.
The Minister said that “J&K is a hydro State and I share the concerns of other states and sure that like us other States are alive to their responsibility of exploiting all their hydle potential for not only all round development of their respective states but whole country”, he said and added that there are impediments that have to be overcome. He said “clearances by the Central agencies are a major area of concern at the time taken in the process is long”.
“My State has to contend with Indus Water Treaty implications as well, without diluting requirement of adequate mechanism to ensure safety of people and environment as the projects are coming in the public domain, it is for the governments to think of a better, well coordinated and time bound approach to ensure that the flowing water betters our lives and we do not let go the Almighty’s bounty go waste”.
The Minister said that “we still have to import nearly 90 percent of power requirements, which resorts heavy curtailment during winter. He hoped that the initiative for rapid expansion of power generation would specifically lead to new approaches and channelization of more investment in hydro power generation in the state.
The Minister said that government has drawn up a road map for massive capacity addition programme of about 8000 MV hydro power generation in next 10 years through different ventures in the state.
Giving details of power initiatives, the Minister said the construction work of Baglihar II, Uri II, Nimo Bazgo, Chutak and Kishan Ganga power projects having total capacity of 1959 MWs have already taken up and implementation of 1000 MW Pakaldull, 93 MW new Ganderbal, 48 MW Lower Kalani, 37.5 MW Parnai power projects has commenced with bidding for award of contract either concluded or in process. He said implementation of 1850 MW Sawlakote, 240 MW Kirthai-I, 990 MW Kirthai-II, 600 MW Kiru and 520 MW Kawar power projects have also been set in motion, in this regard the DPR preparations and clearances is in progress. “With the proposed capacity addition J&K is optimistic about achieving its dream and objective of being a net power exporter in future”, he added.
The Minister said that government also endeavours to exploit renewable energy in the state and has initiated setting up of 5MW technology demonstration-cum-resource assessment Geothermal project at Pugah Leh for which bidding process has been completed.
He said for strengthening of intra-state transmission and distribution systems substantial achievements have been made through the flagship Prime Minister’s Re-construction Programme, under which construction and augmentation of Grid Stations, new Transmission Lines and thickening of conductor of existing lines are being carried out in the state. He said the power infrastructures are also being upgraded under Centrally Sponsored Schemes like APDRP & RGGVY.
The Minister appreciated the efforts of India Tech Foundation for organizing such a marvelous conference here benefits for development of rapid hydro power energy in the state. He also complemented the delegates came from various states of the country and sharing their views for holistic hydro energy development in Northern Himalayan region.