NHPC to add 2800 MW Energy In 5 Years
JKPDC Struggling With 3
NASEER A GANAI/MUDDASIR AL
Srinagar, June 19: While the government of India subsidiary, National Hydro-electric Power Corporation is commissioning around 3,000 megawatt capacity power projects in Jammu and Kashmir during the next five years, the state’s own Power Development Corporation has just 3.61 megawatts capacity power projects in the pipeline for the period.
Paradoxically, in the state sector, only four projects--Pahalgam-III (1.50 mw), Machil (0.35 mw), Sanjak (1.26 mw) and Baderwah-III (0.50 mw)–with a cumulative installed capacity of 3.61 mw are expected to become operational during the next five years. Although the state government had set the deadline of 2008-09 for commissioning of these projects, the PDC seems to be nowhere near the deadline.
Curiously, even the preliminary work on some major projects in the state sector--New Ganderbal (93 mw), Kiru (600 mw), Kawar (520 mw), Ratle (690 mw), Kirthai-I (240 mw), Parnai (37.5 mw) and Swalakote-I and II (1200 mw) – has not been started over several decades past. At a meeting of the JKPDC’s board of directors chaired by the chief minister on May 26, 2009, the officials proposed revising the execution period of these projects. The chief minister, according to sources, has set 2013 as the fresh deadline for New Ganderbal, Kirthai-I, Ratle and Parnai, 2016 for Kirthai-II. In addition, three power projects are being jointly executed by JKPDC and NHPC, to be completed by 2014.
According to experts associated with the state’s power sector, there is no clear-cut policy or roadmap with the government on utilizing the state’s abundant water resources for power generation. “The state government has been reworking the deadlines on power projects for the past three decades,” said an official who has worked JKPDC.
According to insiders, New Ganderbal, Kiru, Kawar, Ratle and some other power projects were identified and declared viable in early 80s. “Even DPRs have been prepared for most projects but except for reworking their completion time, the successive regimes have not moved beyond the paperwork,” sources said.
Sources said, when the New Ganderbal project was conceived its estimated cost was worked out at Rs 200 crore. “Today the cost of the project stands at a whopping Rs 748 crore but not even a single step has been taken to start the work,” sources said.
Sources said the state government had approached the Asian Development Bank for funding the project and in 2007 its team had even visited the project site. But nobody knows what happened to the proposal.
Other projects have also met with the same fate. The cost of Kirthai, Kiru, Kawar Ratle has escalated by two to three times to Rs 1510 crore, Rs 2381.90 crore, Rs 3386.12 crore and Rs 805.4 crore respectively even though the projects are yet to take off for execution.
Besides, the court has stayed the work on Swalakote-I and II (1200 mw) projects. The project cost has already escalated to Rs 7000 crore.