Planning Commission agrees to support Rs 1000 cr grant-in-aid for Baglihar-II

J&K seeks equity assistance under PMRP for other projects

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, June 9: In a significant development, Planning Commission of India has agreed to support provision of Rs 1000 crore grant-in-aid for the construction of 450 Mega Watts capacity Stage-II of the Baglihar Hydroelectric Project and assured to consider the request of Jammu and Kashmir Government for equity support for other hydro-electric projects under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Plan (PMRP) in order to help the State in tapping additional 3200 Mega Watts of electricity in next five years.
With the assurance from the Planning Commission, the process of seeking grant-in-aid for the Stage-II of the first ever mega State owned project on river Chenab in Ramban district started by the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah in the recent past seems to be heading towards positive conclusion.
Mr Omar had written to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh seeking financial assistance from the Union Government for Stage-II of Baglihar on the pattern of Stage-I. The official communiqué of the Chief Minister was then forwarded to the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who asked the State Government to get the necessary clearances for the project before having formal discussion on the issue of grant-in-aid.
“With all the clearances in hand, a high-level team of State Government headed by Principal Secretary, Power Development Department, Sudhanshu Pandey had a detailed discussion with the Advisor Energy of the Planning Commission yesterday and formally projected the requirement of grant-in-aid of Rs 1000 crore for the construction of Stage-II of Baglihar”, authoritative sources told EXCELSIOR.
They disclosed that Planning Commission has agreed to support provision of grant-in-aid of Rs 1000 crore for the Stage-II of Baglihar on the pattern of Stage-I of the project and the case will now be placed before the Prime Minister for final approval.
Disclosing that work on the Stage-II has already been started by managing finances from internal resources, sources said, “since major works like dam are not required to be carried out, the construction of Stage-II would cost Rs 3100 crore as against over Rs 5000 crore expended on the Stage-I of the project”.
“Following the assistance of Rs 1000 crore in the shape of grant-in-aid, Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation will have to only arrange Rs 2100 crore from the Financial Institutions. Moreover, with this assistance the power generation cost will come down considerably”, they said, adding “as against Rs 4.89 per unit projected cost of electricity from Stage-II, the generation cost will come down to Rs 1.60 per unit with the assistance of Rs 1000 crore from the Union Government”.
Sources informed that State team headed by Principal Secretary PDD, Sudhanshu Pandey also had detailed discussion with the Planning Commission team on other hydroelectric projects, which the State Government has decided to implement during the 12th Five Year Plan.
“The Planning Commission was informed that J&K Government would be able to generate additional 3200 Mega Watts of electricity during the next five year”, sources said while disclosing that Planning Commission appreciated the thrust of the State Government on generation.
The projects, which the State Government is planning to implement during the 12th Five Year Plan under State Sector include 93 Mega Watts Ganderbal, 450 MW Baglihar Stage-II, 37.5 Mega Watts Parnai, 1466 MW Sawalakote, 240 MW Karthai, 250 MW Lower Parnai and 990 MW Karthai-II.
Under Joint Venture, 600 MW Kiru, 520 MW Kawar and 1000 MW Pakal Dul while as under IPP Mode 850 MW Ratley project would be taken up during the period. Similarly, there are plans to construct 10 projects with total capacity of 108 Mega Watts under IPP (Small Phase-I) and 10 projects with capacity of 172 MW under IPP (Small Phase-II).
For the construction of these projects, J&K would need Rs 9380 crore as equity and Rs 30,381 crore as debt. “The State Government requested the Planning Commission to provide equity support for the already approved projects under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Plan (PMRP)”, sources said, adding “since considering this request was not in the competence of the Planning Commission team, they registered the request of State and assured to take up the same at the appropriate forum for necessary action”.
The Planning Commission also favourably responded to the request of the State for taking up of Uri-II and Dul Hasti-II under the Joint Venture mode with the equity support. “This would result into 50 per cent share of the State in the power as well as in the profit. Moreover, this would help the State in increasing its resources over the years besides generating employment for locals”, sources said.

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