Ladakh solar project

Harnessing of solar energy is part of relentless effort of engineers and policy planners everywhere in the world to overcome the grim of shortage of hydroelectric or atomic power sources. Many countries in the world are making successful experiment with solar energy. For quite some time we have been told that Ladakh, the 11,000 feet above sea level plateau has the potential to become the foremost district in the country to have the solar energy provided for consumption in all of its households.
In fact, in our State, we have Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA) at the State level, and Ladakh Renewable Energy Development Agency and Kargil Renewable Energy Development Agency at sub-regional level which have been assigned the task of generation of power from renewable sources. Experts believe that J&K State has the renewable energy sources to the extent that it can surpass all other States of the Union in generating power from solar energy. But these are only hollow words without real meaning and significance. The reality is that we have harnessed barely 1 per cent of 111 GW of solar energy which is available to us. J&K could not generate even single unit of solar energy during 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16. However, during the current year the generation up to ending September was only 0.39 Million Units (MU), which is only a bit of the available potential of the State.
It is disappointing that though Leh was given the name of solar city on the assumption that the town would receive uninterrupted energy round the year and thus save the inhabitants the hassle of running after other sources of energy this has not materialised. We have information that not only the State Government has been somewhat apathetic and unconcerned about the solar projects sanctioned for the region of Ladakh, even the Union Ministry of Renewable Energy has been lukewarm about providing solar source of energy for consumption purposes. We learn that there are numerous agencies claiming to be engaged in generating solar energy. But we are told that no support has been provided either by state agency or by the Union Ministry of Renewable Energy under whose jurisdiction the project should fall. Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has so far only approved the establishment of Solar City Project but has not issued orders for the same. Under the scheme the Centre is supposed to provide financial support for the project as well but that has not been forthcoming.
The point we like to make strongly is this. Power generation through various sources is of immense importance to the country and the State in particular because ours is a mountainous state with harsh winter conditions. The only thing that can go a long way in helping people either develop cottage industries  or do some dependable labour that ensures their income is the availability of power on uninterrupted basis. A number of small scale industries can be established if there is enough power. That is the only way of changing and improving the standard of life of the people in these inhospitable regions. Amusingly, the Minister holding the charge of the Renewable Energy during the period prior to period under consideration was none other than the former Chief Minister of the State. He could have made significant contribution in bringing the State on the solar energy map of the country. Even the Ladakh Hill Development Council has expressed its disappointment with both, the State and the Central Government for their non-serious an casual attitude towards taking concrete steps in transforming Leh into a solar city.
In view of the ground situation stated above, we need to impress upon the State as well as the Central Government to step up efforts of transforming Leh into solar city as per the announcement already made some years ago and maximise generating power from solar energy in the State and especially in the region of Ladakh.