Srinagar: The amount of electricity consumed per person in Jammu and Kashmir has increased by 66 percent over the past 10 years due to the expanding use of electric devices.
“Per capita electricity consumption in J&K has increased by 66 percent during the last decade, which is an average rate of 6.6 percent per annum,” reads an official report of the J&K government.
“There are 21.95 lakh electric connections or consumers of different categories in J&K who are being catered electric power supply. The infrastructure of power generation, transmission, and distribution is required for supplying reliable and quality power to these consumers,” the report said.
J&K is bestowed with significant hydel potential which, when exploited fully, would provide a strong impetus for the growth of its economy.
The estimated hydropower potential of J&K is 18,392 MW of which about 14,867 MW has been identified. This comprises 11,283 MW in the Chenab basin, 3084 MW in the Jhelum basin, and 500 MW in the Ravi basin.
Out of the identified potential, only 3633.21 MW that is 24.44 percent (of identified potential) has been harnessed so far, which consists of 1220.96 MW in state sector, 2339 MW in central sector, and 73.25 MW in Independent Power Producers (IPP) mode.
“Till December 2022, transmission and distribution capacity of 28,480 MVA with an electric line length of 1,52,435 Ckm has been established by the J&K Power Development Department. Transmission and distribution capacity has increased by more than 15 percent during the last three years,” the report said.
Jammu and Kashmir Power Corporation Limited (JKPCL) does the work of power trading for the Power Distribution Corporations of JPDCL and KPDCL.
Power Purchase Agreements have been signed with different central and J&K government agencies for supplying power to the consumers.
“However, there is a shortfall in the power supply during winter,” the report said.
According to the report, J&K is on a path of becoming self-sufficient in power generation as many new projects are under execution.
“However, there remain certain gaps, especially during winters due to the reduction in the flow of water in the snow-fed rivers of J&K. To mitigate the shortfall in power requirement during the winter months, bilateral arrangements are executed with other states, which have surplus power during winters and need power from J&K during summers. Besides, unallocated power is also obtained from the Ministry of Power from the quota of power allocated to North East and western states,” the report said. “Efforts are being made to reduce the same by improving power infrastructure, optimising the network, and use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and to bring it at par at the national level. Revenue generation in the power sector has also improved over the years with the launching of online modes of payments and improvement in billing efficiency.”
It said that power holds a key to any developmental effort.
“It is an essential component for sustained economic growth. An increase in demand for power implies growth of the economy leading to modernisation, industrialisation, and improvement in basic amenities culminating in a better quality of life for people,” the report said. “Hundred percent electrification of households (saturation) has been achieved under SAUBHAGYA.”