Two major power projects of JKSPDC facing time overrun of 2 to 4 years

MoP, CEA perturbed over lackadaisical approach

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Apr 6: Much to the disappointment of Union Ministry of Power and Central Electricity Authority, two major power projects in Jammu and Kashmir have been facing time overrun of two to four years due to slow pace of work, inadequate men and machinery and delay in land acquisition. These projects were scheduled to be commissioned during last financial year but now new deadline of 2019-20 and 2020-21 respectively has been fixed for their completion.
These are 37.5 Mega Watt Parnai Hydroelectric Project in Poonch district and 48 Mega Watt Lower Kalnai Hydroelectric Project on a tributary of River Chenab in Doda district. These are State Sector projects and Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) is the executing agency.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that process for construction of Parnai Hydroelectric Project was set into motion in 2009 by Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation when bids were invited for preparation of pre-qualification documents in conformity with the guidelines of Union Ministry of Power.
All the three units of this project having capacity to generate 12.5 Mega Watt of electricity each were originally scheduled to be commissioned during 2017-18 financial year at a cost of Rs 640.41 crore. However, the project executing agency has failed to meet the deadline and now it is claimed that all the three units will be commissioned during 2019-20 financial year, sources said.
Due to this, the much hyped project is facing time overrun of 26 months. “However, Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation is claiming that there will be no cost overrun of the project and it will be completed at the original cost of Rs 640.41 crore”, sources further said.
About the reasons behind delay in completion of the project, they said, “slow progress of works and delay in land acquisition have played the spoilsport”, adding “it is a matter of concern that the project which was inspected by the Ministers of the present dispensation a number of times during the past three years is facing time overrun of 26 months. This clearly indicates that bottlenecks in the project were not given due attention by all the concerned authorities at the appropriate time”.
Similarly, both the units of Lower Kalnai Hydroelectric Project having capacity to generate 24 Mega Watt of electricity each were scheduled to be completed during 2017-18 financial year at a cost of Rs 576.87 crore. But this project has too met the uncertain fate, sources said, adding “now it is being claimed by the project executing agency that work will be completed during 2020-21 financial year”.
In this way, this project is facing time overrun of 42 months. “Inadequate mobilization of men and machinery by contractors, delay in finalization of Relief and Rehabilitation (R&R) Plan, slow progress of works and funds constraints with the contractors are the reasons behind missing of deadline for the completion of project”, sources informed.
They disclosed that Union Ministry of Power and Central Electricity Authority are perturbed over delay in completion of both these projects, which were flagged as priority by the State as well as Union Government.
“The Union Power Ministry is also not happy with the State Government as far as 850 Mega Watts Ratle Hydroelectric Project is concerned as the latter has failed to resolve all the issues, which are creating impediments in re-start of work, which remained suspended since July 11, 2014”, sources said.
Four units of 205 Mega Watt each and one unit of 30 Mega Watt of Ratle Project were originally scheduled to be commissioned during 2017-18 financial year. “Due to abandoning of work during the past quite long time the project is facing cost overrun of Rs 739.98 crore as the original cost was Rs 5517.02 crore and latest anticipated cost is Rs 6257 crore”, sources said.
“Now, it is expected that Ratle Project will be completed during 2022-23 financial year provided the work is restarted at the earliest”, sources said, adding “in all probability the project is facing time overrun of 5 years”.