JK’s Energy Crisis

That Jammu and Kashmir is facing the highest power deficit among all the northern and central states of India, as has been pointed in a study by a business chamber, is not wholly surprising. In the face of insufficient generation capacity and poor transmission and distribution network Kashmir has been dogged by since long, the chasm between demand and availability of electricity has only widened over the years. Even as various studies conducted in the past both by state and private agencies, have pointed to a number of problems J&K energy sector has been beset with, very little has been done to act upon their recommendations. And, the nub of the problem identified in almost all such studies has been the investment deficit in the J&K power sector. The question that begs for answer is why the investments have eluded the energy sector of J&K despite the fact that hydroelectric projects world over are considered to be the safe and best bet for investors. Even as given the weak financial position of the state, one can understand its inability to invest hugely in the energy sector, yet the government has failed to explore new avenues for getting the investments. Instead it has resorted to shortcuts by entering into sketchy energy deals with NHPC that are heavily tilted in latter’s favour. No wonder then, the government of India Corporation has developed a number of major projects in the state but without actually getting any benefit to J&K. In this backdrop, the only immediate solution to J&K’s energy crisis seems a relook to the deals that state has entered into with NHPC. Even if the state would resolve to make investments in the power sector, the results could only be seen ten or twelve years later, given the huge gestation period power projects entail. It is time the state pressed seriously for the return of the power projects from the NHPC. All it needs is a political will. If the state has already enacted a revolutionary Water Resources Act to levy water usage charges on the hydroelectric projects, it should not shy away from pressing hard for the return of the power projects more so when the NHPC has already recovered the costs.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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