Allotted several years back to generate 424 MW power, 36 projects remain on papers

*Work on Rs 619 cr worth Central scheme yet to begin
Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Jan 15: In a big blot on the performance of Power Development Departm-ent, 36 projects allotted/ planned under much hyped Independent Power Producers (IPP) mode several years back to generate 424 Mega Watts of electricity have remained only on the papers till date. Moreover, work on Union Government’s ambitious scheme has yet not begun despite availability of Rs 619 crore thereby keeping huge number of households in rural areas un-electrified.
In the year 2003, the State Government came up with J&K State Hydroelectric Policy for execution of projects in Independent Power Producer (IPP) mode and accordingly 10 projects were allotted to private players for generation of 110.50 Mega Watts of electricity. Creating much-hype over this policy, the Government had announced that this step would do wonders in the power sector and help the State in tapping available potential by constructing small hydroelectric projects.
However, out of 10 projects, only four have been commissioned till date and rest of the six are still on the papers because of varied reasons, official sources told EXCELSIOR. These six projects are 12 MW Boniyar in Baramulla district, 4 MW Kahmil in Kupwara district, 12 MW Hirpora in Pulwama district, 12.5 MW Mandi in Poonch district, 5 MW Drung in Kathua district and 22.5 MW Aharbal in Pulwama district.
“The most shocking aspect is that neither Government nor the Power Development is in a position to specify the time-frame for completion of these projects despite the fact that several years have already lapsed in meeting the requisite formalities by the private players”, sources regretted.
In the year 2011, the State Government realized the necessity of revising J&K State Hydroelectric Policy of 2003 and accordingly a new vision document was finalized and put in public domain with much fanfare. However, even after revision of the policy no perceptible change could be witnessed in tapping the potential for small hydroelectric projects, which otherwise is immensely available in major parts of the State.
This can be gauged from the fact that under the revised policy, 6 projects were tendered out in Phase-II and 24 under Phase-III in order to generate 314 MW of electricity. However, despite lapse of several years none of these 30 projects has been constructed till date thereby making mockery of even revised policy.
These projects are 40 MW Ans-I in Reasi, 45 MW Bichlari in Ramban, 12 MW Girjan Ki Gali in Rajouri, 27 MW Kanzil-Wangath in Ganderbal, 7 MW Chanderwari in Baramulla, 21 MW Patnazi-Bunjwah in Kishtwar, 6.50 MW Gulabgarh in Reasi, 6 MW Nihama in Kulgam, 9 MW Sukhnag in Budgam, 3 MW Sultanpathri in Poonch, 10 MW Shranz in Baramulla, 9 MW Tamasha in Kargil, 9 MW Bairass in Kargil, 7 MW Chenani-IV in Udhampur, 8 MW Sewa-I in Kathua, 10 MW Mawar in Kupwara, 10 MW Erin in Bandipora, 6 MW Boniyar in Baramulla, 16 MW Phagla in Poonch, 4 MW Bringi in Anantnag, 4.5 MW Shaliganga in Budgam, 6 MW Hanswar Paddar in Kishtwar, 5.5 MW Upper Ans-I in Rajouri, 3 MW Chingus-I in Nowshera, 3 MW Chingus-II in Nowshera, 7.25 MW Kutimarg in Kulgam, 4 MW Pumbai Aridajan in Kulgam, 4 MW Kutbal in Kulgam, 2.75 MW Thanamandi in Rajouri and 9 MW Rongdo in Kargil.
Not only on construction of small hydroelectric projects, the Power Development Department is also soft-paddling on initiation of work on Deendayal Upadayay Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana (DDUGVY) for which an amount of Rs 619.67 crore has also been sanctioned by the Union Government, sources informed.
It is pertinent to mention here that DDUGJY has been sanctioned for an amount of Rs 619.67 crore for 21 districts of the State and the scheme is aimed at creation of infrastructure in power distribution system for strengthening and electrification of un-electrified households in rural areas.
The various components of the programme are separation of agriculture and non-agriculture feeders, strengthening and augmentation of sub-transmission and distribution infrastructure in rural areas, erection of HT lines for new feeders, re-alignment of existing lines, installation of new distribution transformers and augmentation of existing ones, creation and augmentation of new/existing receiving stations at 66 KV, 33 KV and 11 KV lines etc.
However, the Project Management Agency has recently been engaged for all the 21 districts being covered under the scheme and the bidding process for execution of work has been initiated, sources said, “the execution of works is likely to start during financial year 2017-2018”.