Power for Industries

Sometimes the opposition charges the government of neglecting a definite industrial policy. It brings forth many dos and do nots in this regard. Yet each time the government defends itself by giving stray details of what it has been doing or intends to do with regard to industrial policy. In fact the Chamber of Commerce also occasionally pillories the government for lack of clear cut industrial policy. The question is not who is right and who is wrong among the government and the industrialists. The real question is of availability of specific infrastructure that would end up in defining the status of industries in the state.
Any industry has a number of components which is also called infrastructure. Land, labour, capital and organization are the proverbial pre-requisites of developing any industry. The scale of industry and its prospects of development are also among its components. The attitude of the government and the facilities it is willing to provide or capable of providing are of vital importance to the growth of industry. In modern times financial aspect is crucial to the progress of any industry. Government’s taxation policy, supply of raw material prospects, technical expertise and managerial skills are all the ingredients that cannot be underestimated once the industry begins to grow.
This notwithstanding, the crucial component of modern industry is regular and adequate supply of power. It is this area in which we in the State are at a disadvantage for the time being. Our State is power hungry. It is an irony that despite having enviable water resources, we are unable to harness them and produce hydroelectric power to meet our needs for industrial and private consumption. Yes many hydroelectric projects are in the pipeline. They will take their own time to become functional. Till then we have to bear the brunt. As we said, power is the key to industrial growth. At present none of the existing industries in the State is assured of uninterrupted power. This is a major handicap and if the industrialists repeatedly complain of it, they are not to be blamed. The government is handicapped by shortage of power and that adversely affects our industries as well. The government and the PDD, both are fully aware of the disadvantages our industry sector is faced with on this account.
Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Singh, who is also holding the charge of power portfolio, recently chaired a joint meeting of three Departments, namely Industries and Commerce, PDD and Forest to deliberate on the issue of how power supply position to the industrial units can be improved within the given capacity. Government is evincing keen interest in providing industrial units with uninterrupted power supply. The solution that has emerged after the representatives of the three departments made their input, is that for developing dedicated grid stations and sub-stations to Industrial Estates, four Industrial Estates, two each in Kashmir and Jammu, will be taken up under pilot project in the first phase. Ghati in Kathua, Samba-Phase III, Lassipora and Ompora, are the identified Estates on which the work will start soon after detailing the projects. A mechanism be devised that would ensure hassle free power supply to the industrial units. The three departments whose representatives attended the meeting should constitute a committee to suggest hassle free power supply to the four identified industrial estates. If the experiment succeeds, it could be extended to more units and thereby a system would be established that ensures regular and uninterrupted power supply to major industrial units.
We appreciate the step taken by the State Government in regard to streamlining industrial area in the State and round the clock power supply to them. We hope that this will be translated into practice and the industrial units will have no complaint at least about power supply.


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