That, not only most of the State projects are generally suffering for want of timely releasing of funds from the state government which is generally perceived of reeling under funds crunch, but quite unfortunate as it may sound, even those projects for which the requisite paper work, feasibility reports, project reports, utility dispersal and even revenue earnings estimates are done and completed to give them a push for takeoff, they get stuck down for want of funds support from the Central Government too.
To put the story in plain parlance, as many as 13 small hydel projects of the state falling under Prime Minister’s Development Package which have all the project feasibility reports completed by the nodal authority, viz The Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency, are facing a dilemma of uncertainty about the release of funds from the concerned Union Ministry as the funds would be released for these projects only after getting proper budgetary allocation from the Finance Ministry.
It may be recalled that the State Government had enhanced the mandated limit of 2 Mega Watts to 10 Mega Watts under the policy of development of Micro /Mini hydel projects, and accordingly, the Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA) proposed 13 small hydel projects with an aggregate capacity of 112 Mega Watts under Prime Minister’s Development Package for implementation through Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode. These projects with varied Mega Watts capacity are at Hanswar Kishtwar, Kupwara, Gagrian- Poonch, Baramulla, Karnah, Kulgam, Reasi, Gurez etc. JAKEDA after having shared all the requisite information with the Union New and Renewable Energy and on its advice, other detailed reports were prepared by it including the final feasibility report. Even floating of tenders for the start of work on these projects too has been done. Now, it was the other way round, i e, releasing of the funds and it there, where the matter is held up.
The State Government deserves accolades for having completed the relevant paper and technical work in respect of the project when in many a case, it comes under criticism for adopting a lackadaisical approach in such matters. Why should the Central Ministries concerned, now not release the funds required ? It is looking all the more prosaic that the funds are sought under the special package for the state known as Prime Minister’s Development Package which was announced three years back with a lot of hope and aspirations. If the State Government seethes over this avoidable response from the Central Government, it has valid reasons for it.
It is in the fitness of things that the State Government should exert its efforts in getting things done to take the projects to its take off mode which is not possible without the proper financial support. It is learnt that a team of Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency is presently camping in the Union capital for deliberations with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to break the impasse and get the process of releasing of funds initiated.
The State Government has, in its wisdom, embarked upon encouraging setting up of mini hydel projects because, besides other advantages, these can be completed in a minimal period of time and hence are rightfully treated under priority looking to catering of the needs of the electricity of the local population of the areas where these projects are proposed to be set up. These need to be encouraged, supported and sustained and both the State as well as the Central Governments are expected to play result oriented roles looking to the power requirements of the State where there remains a huge gap between the demand and the supply both in peak summers as well as in harsh winters.