Hydropower generation in Jammu and Kashmir has drastically decreased to measly 408 megawatts due to ‘less precipitation’ thus making the Union Territory heavily dependent on outside power supplies to meet the demand.
According to data accessed by the Greater Kashmir from power grid sources, as on 2 pm November 20, J&K was importing 81 percent i.e. 1726 MW of power from outside power companies.
As per the officials, the restricted power demand in J&K is 2134 MW, of which 1430 MW in Kashmir and 704 MW in Jammu division.
However as per the official figures, J&K’s the total generation of State-owned and NHPC owned power houses is 408 MW.
The figures show that URI-I was generating a mere 83 MW, while URI-II was generating 83 MW too.
As per the data available Baglihar is currently producing 150 MW, Salal project is producing a mere 33 MW. Interestingly, Dulhasti, Sewa & Kishenganga projects are, presently, said to produce zero power.
J&K State-owned Lower Jhelum Hydro power Project (LJHP) and USHP 1 and 2 cumulatively generate 59 MW.
Officials of Kashmir Power Development Corporation Limited informed that unrestricted demand in Kashmir is above 2200 MW. “The reason behind curtailment is unprecedented power demand during winter months. Besides, heavy dependence on power import is also bad for the financial health of J&K.” Chief Engineer KPDCL, Aijaz Ahmad Dar, said that due to less rainfall in Kashmir this year power generation in lower Jhelum power projects has witnessed significant decrease. “Currently we are importing our 95 percent power in Kashmir division. Our unrestricted demand is way above 2200 MW, we are being forced to resort to a curtailment schedule. If people would use electricity judiciously there will be less power cuts.”
An official report has predicted that demand for electricity in Jammu and Kashmir will touch 19,500 million units, even as “prevalent climate change scenario” in the state is likely to affect its hydropower generation.
“J&K has vast hydro potential estimated at 20,000 MW out of which only 16,480 MW is identified till date mainly due to resource constraints,” it states, adding that approximately 15 percent of total identified hydro power potential i.e. 2,457.96 MW has been exploited so far and out of which the state sector projects is only 760.46 MW.
Himachal Pradesh – a state having half geographical area than Jammu and Kashmir- has surpassed JK in power generation with HP generating 6370 MW of electricity in comparison to 3263 MW by JK, while the government here blames “conflict and uncertainties” in the state for lagging behind in developmental aspects.