Expedite Srinagar-Kargil-Leh Transmission Line Project

The critical project aimed at connecting the region of Ladakh with the National Grid at 220 kv level for meeting its electricity demand is unlikely to be completed soon as the prestigious project of Rs.1789 crore has missed yet another deadline. Having approved this important scheme in the year 2014 by the Union Government, the foundation stone of the project was laid by Prime Minister Narindra Modi on August 12, 2014 and it was widely believed to be over and complete by September 2017. Both the Union and the State Governments, however, feel disappointed with the pace of the work which otherwise was slated to address the problems of the people of the cold desert region of the country at the earliest in respect of assured and quality power supply to result in bringing about a remarkable change in their lives.
It remains to be seen at what level of monitoring and other follow up measures, a reckless attitude was manifest to result in such an inordinate delay in its completion about which the Prime Minister had hoped to contribute significantly towards making Jammu and Kashmir “an energy State” of the country. A lot of enthusiasm and exuberance was evident in the initial stages of the project which had generated lot of hope about it to be completed well within the deadline fixed for it but Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) though showing satisfactory performance in the beginning later was found with slackened tempo and pace in respect of completion of the transmission line.
“Extension” of one year was sought by the PGCIL as it was argued that one more year was required to have the project completed which was duly approved with the hope that by Sept 2018, the entire project would be completed without any further ado. Now since that deadline too has not been honoured by the PGCIL, it has sent waves of astonishment and disappointment in the minds of the people of this region who had tagged high hopes with the project of tremendous importance for them. The delay has, as expected, caused the initial cost of the project get escalated by Rs. 543 crore and is feared to take a further leap upwards which could have been avoided had a close monitoring of the project given due importance and initial hiccups resolved.
Approaching winter months were going to severely add to the problems as snowfalls would adversely hamper the ongoing work and pendency of the job of laying of transmission lines between Drass, Leh and Srinagar-Drass section was going to be increasingly affected. Not only the PGCIL but even the Power Development Department of the State has failed to complete the work relating to the Srinagar-Leh transmission line project and majority of the ancillary but important components of the project assigned to it at Alusteng have not been completed so far. We hope that the importance and the sensitivity of the Srinagar-Leh transmission line would be kept in mind and left out job or work in arrears would be completed soon to give a new definition of and the meaning to the difficult terrain of Ladakh region getting rid of traditional alternatives resorted to by the people to meet their power related needs.