Govt not showing seriousness in tapping renewable energy potential

JAKEDA unable to achieve objectives due to meagre budget

Sanctioned in April, Energy Dev Corpn fails to become reality

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Sept 26: Though tapping renewable energy at large scale has become priority for the country yet in Jammu and Kashmir even bit of seriousness is not being shown on this vital aspect as a result of which the State is lagging behind other parts of the country despite having immense potential.
This can be gauged from the fate of Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA) and Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Corporation, which fall under the administrative control of Science and Technology Department.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that JAKEDA was set up in the year 1989 as State nodal agency for promotion and development of renewable energy programmes and projects and the mandate of the agency cover the entire gamut of renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, mini/micro hydel, biomass and geothermal.
However, even 29 years after its establishment, JAKEDA has failed to achieve the objectives mainly because of non-serious approach of the successive State Governments towards this vital organization.
“The intensity of non-seriousness can be gauged from the fact that during the past nearly three decades the annual budget of JAKEDA has been increased to merely Rs 10 crore, which is grossly inadequate as far as tapping renewable energy potential on large scale is concerned”, they said while disclosing that of Rs 10 crore, Rs 8 crore has been earmarked for tapping solar energy and Rs 2 crore for construction of mini and small hydel projects.
“What wonders JAKEDA can do vis-a-vis tapping renewable energy potential with this meagre money at its disposal remains a million dollar question”, sources said, adding the issue of inadequate annual budget was brought to the notice of successive State Governments a number of times but the situation has not improved as a result of which JAKEDA has failed to meet the objectives behind its creation.
They disclosed that because of meagre funds at its disposal the JAKEDA has only been laying focus on installation of solar roof-top systems that too after offering 60% subsidy as per the guidelines of the Union Government.
Early this year, the Government made announcement regarding setting up of J&K Renewable Energy Development Corporation so as to catalyze the development of renewable energy resources.
The reason behind this announcement was that Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA), the State Nodal Agency mandated with development of small hydel, solar, wind and other renewable projects, is not oriented on commercial lines and it can also not raise debt without which the development of projects is impossible.
Accordingly, the State Cabinet vide Decision No.97/5/2018 dated April 24, 2018 accorded sanction for creation of Energy Development Corporation as private limited company. Vide Government Order No.21-ST of 2018 dated April 25, 2018 sanction was also accorded to the creation of 34 posts in Energy Development Corporation.
“However, the Corporation has not become reality till date because of inordinate delay in registration of Corporation as limited company with Registrar of Companies”, sources regretted. Due to this, the Corporation has become least priority for Government like JAKEDA even before its formal establishment.
As per the Cabinet decision of April 24, 2018, the Corporation will have authorized share capital of Rs one crore of 10,00,000 shares of Rs 10 each fully subscribed and paid up as—Governor 998500 shares, Secretary Finance 500 shares, Secretary Planning, Development and Monitoring 500 shares and Secretary Science and Technology 500 shares.
In view of this, all the shareholders were required to furnish relevant details so as to pave the way for registration of private limited company with Registrar of Companies but required information has not been received from Raj Bhawan and Planning Secretary as a result of which no headway could be made till date and Energy Development Corporation has remained on papers only, sources informed.
“All this clearly establishes that there is no seriousness at any level in the State Government for tapping available renewable energy potential”, they said, adding “it is because of casual approach that J&K has failed to get significant financial assistance from the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy during the past some years”.


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