IWT puts J&K in disadvantageous position: Omar

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SRINAGAR: Flags necessity for return of NHPC projects

Flagging the issue of return of power projects by NHPC to the State as of significant importance and critically essential for the energy supply and economic development in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Saturday reiterated that losses caused to the State on account of Indus Water Treaty (IWT) are enormous.

Omar Abdullah said that while both India and Pakistan have been benefited by Indus Water Treaty, the State of Jammu and Kashmir has been put to disadvantageous position. He said due to this treaty Jammu and Kashmir cannot utilize its water resources to its will for generating hydro power, irrigating agriculture fields and providing drinking water to the people. He mentioned the hurdle recently brought under Indus Water Treaty for launch of huge water supply project for Greater Jammu to utilize Chenab water to meet the requirements of the people for next 25 years.

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The Chief Minister was addressing a high level meeting of the officers of Union Power Ministry and J&K State Power Development Department which was also participated by the Union Minister of State for Power (Independent Charge) Pyuish Goyal, J&K Minister of State for Power, Vikar Rasool, Chief Secretary, Mohammad Iqbal Khandey, Union Power Secretary, Devendra Choudhary, J&K Principal Secretaries, B. R. Sharma, B. B. Vyas, Suresh Kumar, A. K. Mehta and senior officers from various Union Power Agencies and State Government Power Department.

Omar Abdullah said that quality and affordable power to the consumers in the State has remained his government’s priority in the last about six years. He said while sufficient measures were taken to upgrade the infrastructure and improve power distribution and transmission system, the focus remained on indigenous power generation. He said power sector is the key sector to bring turn around in the economic development in the State besides making adequate energy available to the people and exporting the surplus. “This is the sector which can transform the State from the deficit to the surplus one”, he said and added that projects of the capacity of 1500 MWs have been launched during the last about six years while projects of the capacity of over 9000 MWs are in different stages of execution.

The Chief Minister said that old infrastructure has been upgraded or replaced to improve the transmission and distribution system. He said two Data Centres have been established one each in Srinagar and Jammu to benefit the consumers and digitalize the system of transaction and other aspects. He said under flagship programmes like R-APDRP and RGGVY, the system is being further improvised. He said R-APDRP will be rolled out fully in the towns and the two cities in coming months.

While welcoming the Union Minister and thanking him for the interest he is showing in the fast track development of power projects in Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Minister expressed the hope that the various power projects under execution in the State would be completed in the fixed time frame with the support of the Centre Government. He described the deliberations of the meeting highly productive and a major step to address the issues and find out befitting ways and means to settle these.

Omar Abdullah mentioned PMRP under which Jammu and Kashmir received funds for power and other projects. He said that the huge amounts earmarked for the development and completion of power projects has not been utilized by the Centre. He said these funds can be transferred to the State through the window of PMRP for completion of various power projects.

In his address Union Minister for Power, Pyuish Goyal said that the Government of India under Prime Minister Narindra Modi has focused Jammu and Kashmir specially and the development of power sector would receive special place.

Union Minister said that the issues between the State and the Union Power Ministry can be easily resolved through the process of meetings and interactions. He said Union Power Ministry will provide full cooperation to the State in moving ahead confidently on road to achieve new goals in power development sector. He said the huge potential of 20000 MWs of hydro energy available in the State if harnessed would not only give significant boost to the State’s economy but also benefit the Country.

Pyuish Goyal asked the officers of Government of India and the State of Jammu and Kashmir to draft DPRs for all the identified hydel projects so that no delay is caused at the time of the launch of each project. He said generation of 20000 MWs should be the goal for us to achieve in near future. “Let it happen in our time”, he maintained. He said Government of India would provide all financial support to Jammu and Kashmir to realize this goal. He also welcomed the establishment of Chenab Valley Power Company by the State Government to take up power projects under joint venture mode. He said this would give considerable fillip to achieve the power generation targets.
The Union Minister said that Modi-Government has flagged quality and affordable power generation as an important and priority concern and efforts would be made to provide the adequate and affordable power to 125 crore population of the Country irrespective of any politics. He said the Country’s economic upliftment; development of social fabric, improvement in the sectors of health, education, industries, agriculture and allied activities besides all round development revolves round the development of power sector. He said round the clock power supply particularly to the youth to utilize it for achieving economic and technological goals is the endeavour of the Government of India.

The Union Minister asked the officers of Union Power Ministry to give special dispensation to Jammu and Kashmir in the schemes pertaining to power development.

In a PowerPoint presentation Principal Secretary Power Development Department, A. K. Mehta gave overview of various projects under execution in the State in power sector. He gave details of the projects being executed by the Central Agencies, State Government and the private parties.

He said 14 projects with capacity of 6263 MWs in the State Sector, 5 projects with the capacity of 1679 MWs in the Central Sector, one mega project with 850 MWs in IPP mode and 37 small projects with 453 MWs also in IPP mode have been initiated for completion by the end of 13th Five Year Plan. He said in 2013-14 six projects with a capacity of 355 MWs have been commissioned while 25 projects with 1980 MWs are under various stage of execution. He said 20 projects with the total capacity of 2237 MWs have been tendered out and six projects with the capacity of 4669 MWs are at clearance stage.

The Principal Secretary also gave resume of various schemes under execution for the improvement and upgradation of power transmission and distribution system. He also highlighted some issues needing attention at the Union Power Ministry level.

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