JK heading for darker days

Power Deficit Touches

70%, State Produces Only 23% Of Required Energy

MUDDASIR ALI

Srinagar, Apr 13: Reflecting the deteriorating situation in the power sector, Jammu and Kashmir’s energy deficit has swelled to 70 percent while the investment made by the State Government in the energy generation is far below the requirement.
Adding to the worries, most of the State-owned power projects have turned outdated even as the energy requirements are estimated to cross 4000 MW in next six years.
The latest Economic Survey has revealed that during last year only 23.22 percent of the required power was generated within the State while rest was imported to meet the demand.
“There does not seem to be a considerable improvement in the situation,” the report said. A senior official in the Power Development Department said the energy deficit in Jammu and Kashmir was highest among all the northern and central states of India.
Of the identified 16000 MW power potential in the State, the total energy tapped is 15 percent, 1680 MW in central sector by NHPC and just 760.46 MW in State sector.
The peak hour power demand in the State has shot up to 2600 MW. In absence of adequate power generation, J&K imports around 1400 MW of power from Northern Gird.
An official said lack of reforms in the sector coupled with State’s inability to better generation was the main reason for unimpressive growth in the key area.
“J&K has not been able to tap even 10 percent of the available hydro power resources,” the official said.
He said by 2018-19, State’s power demand was estimated to grow beyond 4000 MW. “It is a serious challenge,” he said.
During the recently concluded budget session, the Government said that by the end of the 13th five-year plan, it plans to generate 5000 to 6000 MW energy in the State sector from small and major power projects.
However, sources said the actual challenge was managing the finances to realize the targeted generation.
“The State will need at least Rs 1000 crore to set up the projects. Where from will the money come, that is a big question,” an official said.
Due to inadequate power generation in the State sector and poor Transmission and Distribution system, the State’s Power Bill is estimated to cross Rs 3600 crore for 2013-14. “The estimated losses on account of less return on tariffs would touch around Rs 2200 crore,” sources said.
Painting a grim picture in the sector, an official report has revealed that annual average growth of energy generation has been less than one percent for the past three decades while the energy demand has grown by more than 100 percent during the corresponding period.
The outlay for the energy sector has gone down to 15.97 percent of plan size in 2008-09. “Only in a few plans the power sector got 1/4th of the plan size (expenditure),” the report mentioned.
The maintenance of the projects has also become casualty in absence of adequate investment in the sector.
“Some old power houses have got de-rated which has reduced the generation by around 200 million units annually,” the report revealed. “The rate of growth of power generation has been worked out to be less than one percent per annum during 1980-81 to 2006-07 while the energy import has grown to 106 percent annually during the corresponding period.”

Lastupdate on : Sat, 13 Apr 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 13 Apr 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 14 Apr 2013 00:00:00 IST




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