JKSPDC soft-paddling on renovation, modernization of several HEPs

*No focus on internal audit particularly in Kashmir valley
Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, July 7: Despite being aware of the fact that timely and systematic renovation and maintenance is essential to maintain power generation and reduce losses, the Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) is soft-paddling on this vital exercise in respect of many hydroelectric projects (HEPs). Due to this, the Corporation is suffering generation loss of Rs 14 crore per annum during the past several years. Moreover, there is no focus on internal audit of the divisions, which otherwise is imperative for ensuring operational effectiveness, efficiency and compliance to laws and policies.
According to the official document, the Renovation, Modernization and Uprating (RMU) of Chenani Hydroelectric Project-I was approved in August 2005 at a cost of Rs 39.14 crore to enhance the capacity of the power house from 17 Mega Watts to 23.30 Mega Watts and generate additional 33.85 Million Units (MUs) of electricity.
However, due to lack of response the works were split into 50 electro-mechanical works and 20 civil works and the same were awarded in piecemeal between June 2011 and March 2015. Of these, 40 electro-mechanical and 19 civil works were completed by March 2016 at an expenditure of Rs 14.04 crore despite the fact that RMU exercise was supposed to be completed in all respects within a period of one to three years.
Delay in completion of the RMU resulted in loss of generation of 33.85 Million Units valued at Rs 6.77 crore per annum. Even after the lapse of 12 years nobody knows when the RMU exercise will be completed and project will start yielding the intended objectives although all sorts of works were supposed to be completed during the last financial year as per the revised deadline.
Similarly, Unit-I and Unit-II of Pahalgam HEP had defect of recurring vibration since its commissioning in 2005 but the same could not be rectified resulting in operation of units at a de-rated capacity which resulted in loss of generation of 10.38 Million Units per annum valued at Rs 3.40 crore, the official document said.
Chenani Hydroelectric Project-III, which was commissioned in 2001, started leaking during testing process and in the year 2012 Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation decided to rectify the same. Accordingly, in December 2013 tenders were floated for the works. However, the tenders had to be cancelled due to poor response.
“The work is still pending for award as a result of which JKSPDC had to bear loss of generation to the extent of 3.01 Million Units valuing Rs 1.05 crore annually”, the document said, adding “a permanent solution is yet to be worked out till date”.
Likewise, the Stakna Power Project was transferred in January 2011 to JKSPDC with only one machine running at 25% of the installed capacity due to need for replacement of electro-mechanical parts. The power project was put under complete shutdown in April 2013 and in order to restore the plant to its capacity, JKSPC engaged a consultant in March 2015 for preparation of a Detailed Project Report at a cost of Rs 4.50 lakh. This, however, has yet not been finalized.
“The non-replacement of electro-mechanical parts has resulted in loss of generation of 58.56 Million Units valuing Rs 2.44 crore per annum”, the document said while revealing that total loss of generation from these projects has been worked out at Rs 13.66 crore per annum.
Stating that internal control is a process for ensuring operational effectiveness, efficiency, reliable financial reporting and compliance with laws, regulations and policies, sources said that internal audit of 16 division/offices of JKSPDC out of 42 had been conducted up to 2014-15 in Jammu region. However, no internal audit had been conducted of any division/office in Kashmir and Leh as such no report could be placed before Board of Directors for taking corrective measures.

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