Quantum leap from being power deficit to becoming surplus in the next four years, says L-G Sinha
In a major bid to open up water resources to investment, the J&K Lieutenant Governor administration on Sunday signed memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with NHPC, as it plans to attract investments worth ₹35,000 crore, a move that saw opposition of the regional parties prior to the abrogation of J&K’s special status last year.
“The MoUs signed would attract investments worth ₹35,000 crore for the power sector, ensuring energy security and 24-hour power supply. J&K is taking a quantum leap from being power deficit to becoming surplus in the next four years,” L-G Sinha said.
Mr. Sinha said the numerous hydro resources were capable of generating 14,867 MW power but the potential had not been fully exploited.
“Only 3,504 MW power is being generated till now. The works started now will ensure that another 3,498 MW power is generated in the next three to four years. The potential achieved in 70 years would now be doubled within the next four years.”
As per the provisions of these MoUs, the projects will be handed over to J&K after 40 years of commercial operation — after the allotment to the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHCP).
Regional parties like the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party and even the ruling regimes questioned and opposed the arrangements with the NHPC in the past.
According to two agreements, the NHPC would work in association with the administration in the first and the languishing Sawalkot project would be handed over to it for completion under the second.
“The project has been perpetually postponed since its conception in 1984 and was expected to generate 1,856 MW. J&K was deliberately prevented from attracting investments despite having abundant potential of power generation; its energy needs were not addressed. With the execution of the new mega power projects, a number of other employment avenues would be generated for the locals,” said the Lt Governor.
The MoUs will result in the implementation of the 850-MW Ratle HEP and the 930-MW Kirthai-II HEP projects, besides execution of the Sawalkot HEP (1856 MW), Uri-I (Stage-II) (240 MW) and Dulhasti (Stage-II) (258 MW).
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Power, New and Renewable Energy Raj Kumar Singh assured “every support of the Centre to the J&K government for various reforms in the power sector”.
“Locals will be trained and given employment in the NHPC ventures; besides the NHPC will ensure development of small hydro projects. We have to do our bit of duty to see electricity reaching every household 24×7,” the Minister said.
The MoUs were signed between the Power Development Department (PDD), J&K; the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) Ltd. and the J&K Power Development Corporation.
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