After the recent announcement by government officials that Jammu and Kashmir has received a reward worth Rs 100 crore from Government of India for achieving the target of 100 per cent electrification ahead of timeline, the focus now should be more on improving the power supply.
Hundred percent electrification is a positive development, but worsening power supply from time to time is also a big issue that needs to be seriously addressed.
People have been suffering badly due to power shortage at different times. Be it during the harsh winter in Kashmir or during scorching heat of summer in Jammu, the scheduled and unscheduled power cuts make the life miserable for consumers.
J&K witnessed an unexpected power crisis a few months back (during Ramadhan) and for which the Power Development Department (PDD) came under severe criticism. In summer the power scenario improves to some extent but worsens once winter sets in.
The officials keep on giving their side of story saying the supply gets reduced due to low power generation and power theft by consumers during peak hours in the evening.
Generating more power is the job of PDD and not indulging into electricity pilferage is the responsibility of the consumers.
Even if some of them steal power, it is the duty of official machinery to act tough against such elements. Unfortunately, not much attention was given in past at generating more power despite huge potential to do so.
The estimated hydro power potential is 20,000 MW in J&K, which continues to import power from outside to meet its increasing demand.
Some consumers say the question is not only how much power is generated in Jammu and Kashmir, but also that how much from the generated power is supplied here.
The government officials said that it is not practically, technically, or legally permissible that entire power generated by NHPC projects here will be given to J&K.
Same rules apply here and same rules apply in other states and union territories as far as power generated by NHPC projects is concerned, they further explain.
The officials said that the power shortage issue is being taken care of. According to them the supply will double in next three years from 3500 MW and triple in next seven years.
Eight new hydro-electric power projects have been taken up for execution in this connection. Five among those by NHPC and three others being developed through joint venture with the J&K government.