J&K fuming as MNRE fails to release funds for 13 PMDP projects

Detailed Project Reports gathering dust in JAKEDA files

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, May 9: State Government is fuming as Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has failed to release funds for 13 small hydel projects under Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) even after preparation of Detailed Project and Pre-Feasibility Reports by Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that following enhancement of its mandate from 2 Mega Watts to 10 Mega Watts under Policy for Development of Micro/Mini Hydro Power Projects, Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA) proposed 13 small hydel projects with a cumulative capacity of 112 Mega Watts under Prime Minister’s Development Package for implementation through Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode.
Thereafter, the information vis-à-vis these 13 projects was shared with the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, which even asked for preparation of Detailed Project Reports and Pre-Feasibility Reports.
Accordingly, Detailed Project Reports in respect of eight projects were prepared and finalized by JAKEDA while as for the remaining five projects the Pre-Feasibility Reports and Detailed Project Reports are under preparation. However, when the State Government through JAKEDA approached the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for release of funds, the latter expressed inability to provide financial assistance, sources informed.
“The New and Renewable Energy Ministry has categorically told the State Government that funds would be released for these 13 projects only when it (Ministry) gets budget for the purpose from the Union Ministry of Finance”, they said, adding “due to this J&K is in peculiar situation as in respect of some projects even tenders have also been allotted but start of work is getting delayed for want of funds”.
These 13 projects are 8 MW Small Hydel Project at Hanswar in Kishtwar, 4.5 MW Mawar-I in Kupwara, 10 MW Gagrian in Poonch, 10 MW Bhut Nullah in Kishtwar, 10 MW Shranz in Baramulla, 10 MW Kehmil in Kupwara, 10 MW Mawar-II in Kupwara, 10 MW Naigarh Kishtwar, 10 MW Dringla in Karnah, 7 MW Nehama in Kulgam, 6 MW Gulabgarh in Reasi, 7 MW Aapan Nallah in Kishtwar and 10 MW Achoora in Gurez.
“The confusion is prevailing over release of funds for these projects even after the Science and Technology Minister of the State formally approached the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in the recent past”, sources said, adding “a team of Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency is presently camping in Union Capital for deliberations with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy”.
Expressing inability to specific time-frame for start of work on at least those projects whose tenders have also been allotted, sources said, “everything depends on resolution of issue relating to release of funds between Department of Expenditure of Union Finance Ministry and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy”.
In response to a specific question, they informed that an amount of Rs 1200 crore would be required to complete these 13 projects having potential to generate 112 Mega Watts of electricity. “Initially, the potential of these projects was worked out at 93 Mega Watts but at the stage of Detailed Project Reports formulation the capacity has been reworked at 112 Mega Watts”, sources added.
“The MNRE Ministry should have approached Union Finance Ministry well in time especially when information about these 13 projects was provided to it. Had this been done the prevailing situation could have been easily avoided”, sources said, adding “it is a matter of serious concern for the State that Union Ministry is soft-paddling on release of funds for those projects which have been proposed under Prime Minister’s Development Package”.
It is pertinent to mention here that JAKEDA has, so far, awarded 35 mini hydel project sites having a cumulative capacity of 57.55 MWs to various Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and all these are at different stages of execution. The mini hydel projects have become the priority for the State as they can be completed in shortest possible time and help in meeting the electricity requirement at least of the population of those areas where they are proposed to come up.