After 70 years, J&K set to double hydropower generation capacity

After 70 years, J&K set to double hydropower generation capacity
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Srinagar, Aug 14: The Union Territory government has set a goal to double power generation in the next three years by spending Rs 34,000 crore for the development of power projects with the intention of making Jammu and Kashmir a hydropower generation surplus.

According to an official document obtained by Greater Kashmir, J&K plans to increase its current hydropower generation capacity of 3500 MW over the next three years.

In this regard, five mega hydropower projects—Ratle (824 MW), Kirthai-II (930 MW), Sawalakote (1856 MW), Dulhasti-Stage II (258 MW), and Uri-I Stage-II (240 MW)—with a combined capacity of 4134 MW have been accepted for execution in cooperation with NHPC. These projects are expected to cost Rs 34882 crore, and when completed, J&K will have an excess of power.

According to the official document of the J&K government, delays in project implementation have been eliminated and their pace has accelerated.

"Joint ventures are used to create ongoing HEPs, such as Kiru (624 MW), Kawar (540 MW), and Pakaldul (1000 MW). Major civil and electro-mechanical construction on these projects will be finished by 2022–2023," it continues.

The estimated 20,000 MW of hydropower potential in Jammu and Kashmir has only been utilised to the tune of roughly 16 percent, despite the fact that the demand for energy has been constantly increasing and widening the supply-demand mismatch.

"To solve the current electricity shortage in the UT, the government has started a large-scale capacity augmentation effort. In the previous 70 years, Jammu and Kashmir had only been able to generate 3,500 MW of electricity, but in the upcoming three and seven years, the capacity of the Union Territory's power generation is expected to double," a senior power department official informed.

"The J&K administration has started a number of projects to strengthen and upgrade the UT's deteriorating power infrastructure, which has been there for several decades. To make power a self-sustaining, rapidly expanding industry in J&K, aggregate technical and commercial losses are being avoided. The potential for electricity generation here has not been really pursued for a very long time," officials aid.

In spite of NHPC's numerous power projects in J&K, the area frequently experiences darkness, especially during the bitter winters. This is because there is a lack of local power production and supply. Due to the unstable power supply and distribution system in J&K, the developing industrial sector also experiences losses.

In Jammu and Kashmir, there is an estimated hydropower potential of 20,000 Megawatts (MW), of which 16,475 MW have been identified.

"This includes 16,08 MW in the Indus basin, 3,084 MW in the Jhelum basin, 500 MW in the Ravi basin, and 11,283 MW in the Chenab basin. Only 3,263.46 MW, or roughly 20 percent of the estimated potential of 20,000 MW and 1,211.96 MW in the state sector, 2,009 MW in the central sector, and 42.5 MW in the private sector, have been utilised thus far, according to the report.

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