Power transmission and distribution

The UT of Jammu and Kashmir , undoubtedly, is making rapid strides in overall development but there being still a long road ahead, especially in power sector, much needs to be done. In this connection, however, it is heartening to note that as many as 17 power projects worth Rs.119 crore were recently e-inaugurated by the Lieutenant Governor. These power projects were destined to strengthen the power infrastructure and bring about some more improvement in areas of transmission and distribution. Needless to add, while there was an unending need to do more in generation, transmission and distribution of power in Jammu and Kashmir which, therefore, opens up the scope for more power projects, at the same time side by side administrative reforms in the entire power management also needed earnestly to be taken. There can be no two ways about it that the absence of sheer professionalism in the power management was to a larger extent offsetting the gains made by raising and commissioning additional power plants in Jammu and Kashmir. Irregularities at some levels, power theft, non – popularity of the principle of ”use and pay”, non realisation of power bills in time and ”allowing” by the Power Department sundry debtors with whooping dues payable accumulate over months and years, transmission wastages and last but not the least, political and non-professional interference need all to be addressed seriously if power scenario, its transmission and distribution, is sought to be improved so that 24 hours uninterrupted power supply was assured and not remained merely a possibility. The positivity about the new projects, as the Lt. Governor too put it, is the same being as one more step towards developing better power position in the entire region. Jammu and Kashmir regions in peak summers and harsh winters respectively undergo problems of different hues in respect of the power supply due to two factors mainly due to increase in power consumption and its lesser generation and hence bridging the deficit by purchasing the same from the National Grid and ”selling” to consumers at no profit no loss basis. On the other hand, a slight downpour or a mild wind, not to speak of a heavy snowfall, cause disruptions in power supply for hours and days together pointing towards the existing poor and weak power infrastructure needing large scale improvements and modernization and hence involvement of heavy investment to address the said issues and to fight the power crisis. We were hearing a decade back and even earlier that Jammu and Kashmir would soon become a power surplus (then state) and earn handsome revenue but decades pass, the timeline of attaining the status of a surplus (now) UT is getting more stretched. Now, Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha has generated the hope that within three to four years, Jammu and Kashmir would become power surplus as power projects worth Rs. 54000 crore stand approved which are slated to generate 3500 Megawatt power. That being quite encouraging as it was bound to vastly improve the power situation to make 24×7 quality electricity to the people a reality besides making it possible to reach out to those habitations which still are unfortunately bereft of power supply. To tide over the ever increasing demand for power due to various reasons mainly fast urbanisation, we are conscious about the short term and medium term measures taken by the Government from time to time to ensure that the power supply to the people was maintained. We also learn that responsibilities are now going to be fixed for lapses as also requisitioning the services of experts to provide solutions and guidance on power related issues . In the entire power scenario in Jammu and Kashmir, we feel that developmental, technical and administrative measures all taken in tandem, would definitely bring out the desired improvement in power sector and to make vision of power surplus UT of Jammu and Kashmir a reality.