Government plans to fast-track hydro projects in J&K

Jammu and Kashmir had a 20 percent shortage in electricity supplies in the seven months ended October 31, compared with a national average of 0.7 percent, according to data from the power ministry.

GKNN
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 23 2017 12:09AM | Updated Date: Nov 23 2017 12:09AM
Government plans to fast-track hydro projects in J&KFile Photo

With rise in water disputes between Indian and Pakistan, government is planning to quintuple development of hydroelectric power in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to a report published by Bloomberg News, state government is planning to add more than 5,000 megawatts of power using the flow of its rivers within the next five to six years.

While neighboring Pakistan has expressed concerns about potential water shortages that might result, Deputy Chief Minister of J&K Nirmal, who is also power minister, told Bloomberg that he doesn’t expect the hydro plans to create friction between the two nuclear-armed powers. 

“There were a lot of bottlenecks which we have cleared now,” Singh said last week in an interview to Bloomberg at his residence in Jammu, the winter capital of the state. “I don’t see a reason for dispute with Pakistan on these projects.” 

Pakistan has already raised objections to some of the plans, citing water treaties between the two countries. It has plans to build more than 12 hydro-power dams of its own in the part of the Kashmir region that it controls. 

Jammu and Kashmir had a 20 percent shortage in electricity supplies in the seven months ended October 31, compared with a national average of 0.7 percent, according to data from the power ministry. 

The shortages could be eased by hydro projects, which have the potential to generate as much as 20,000 megawatts and can be set up on rivers running through the region’s mountainous terrain, Singh said. An additional 7,000 megawatts could be generated through solar projects in the desert of the Ladakh region, he said. 

The state’s government has put several hydro projects on a fast track after some had been stalled for years, according to Singh. Jammu and Kashmir already generates about 1,200 megawatts of hydro power, he said.

The state’s government has put several hydro projects on a fast track after some had been stalled for years, according to Singh. Jammu and Kashmir already generates about 1,200 megawatts of hydro power, he said.