Srinagar, June 25: As the electricity demand is likely to reach 4,217 MW by 2021-22 in the state and as work on the majority of the proposed hydropower projects is stalled, the ambitious plan of the government to provide 24X7 power supply to the people by 2019 may remain a political rhetoric.
Sources said that though the Jammu & Kashmir has significant hydropower potential for development due to its predominantly mountainous terrain, however access to electricity being major factor over the years due to slow pace of works on different power projects.
The process to make JK supply power 24×7 was set in motion, when Government in June 2016 signed 24×7 “Power For All” (PFA) document aimed at providing round the clock power supply to people of the state.
The documents were signed in presence of union power minister during two day state power ministers’ conference held on June 16-17 at Goa.
Along with Jammu and Kashmir, the PFA documents were signed by Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh and three Union Territories including Delhi, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli. “The plan aims to provide each household access to electricity, 24×7 reliable Power supply and adequate supply to agricultural consumers as per state policy by 2019”.
However sources told early times that though the other states are in the right direction in this regard, it seems that Jammu and Kashmir instead is heading for a major crisis in the coming years ,if projects taken up for increasing generation and infrastructure development continue to get delayed.
Official sources told KNS that a survey conducted by the Union Ministry of Power had projected that J&K would have a peak demand of 4217 MW in 2021-22, with an energy requirement of 21,884million units.
“Hydropower projects take decades to complete and keeping in view the unexpected challenges, the Indus Water Treaty and political issues involved, the state is not expected to complete the existing projects on time. Several hydropower projects are already behind schedule,” sources maintained.
The projects like the 850-MW Rattle project on the Chenab in Kishtwar district was abandoned by the executing agency following a dispute with locals. Legal hurdles and dispute with locals had led to delay in starting the work on the Parnai Hydel Project in Poonch, 1,200 MW Sawalkote, 600 MW Kiru, 240 MW Kirthal, 50 MW Lower Kainal, 520 MW Kawar and 280 MW Ujh.
However, one of the top officials of the power department said that the government is reviving all the stalled projects.
We had got the techno-economic clearance for Kirthai-II from central electricity authority only last year and the same is expected for the Sawlakote soon,” said the official on condition of anonymity.
The PDC owns 22 hydropower projects with cumulative capacity of around 1210 MW. But the state’s energy requirement has gone beyond 2700 MW.
J&K is one among the states having vast hydro power potential from where electricity is also being supplied to several parts of the country. But the state on its own is suffering for want of power as it has to purchase electricity worth hundreds of crores annually from the centre power corporations.
Sources said that Jammu and Kashmir would only be able to provide 24-hour power supply in the next four years if it doubles the power purchase to meet the demand of consumers.
It is to mention here that Union Minister of Power (independent Charge) Raj Kumar Singh had admitted that a population of 4.5 lakh in Jammu Kashmir was still devoid of electricity.
Speaking at the inaugural function of the 330 MW Kishen Ganga hydroelectric project and Srinagar semi ring road project, Singh had said 134 un-electrified villages in Jammu Kashmir had been electrified during the past two-and-a-half-years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.
The union minister had also claimed that the Government of India (GoI) was not only planning to electrify the un-electrified villages across Jammu Kashmir but also ensure 24 hour power supply to the electrified areas.
“New Delhi was doing everything possible to ensure 24-hour power supply in Jammu Kashmir and the construction of the 1000 MW PakalDul project would go a long way in realising this dream,” Singh had said. (KNS)
Forge unity, not let regionalism, other prejudices divide us: Farooq
Srinagar, Mar 24: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah on Sunday urged the people across the state to forge unity for addressing common challenges that the state is facing saying that he desires a society free from communal strife, social injustice and inequality.
Addressing a gathering of people at Batwara, Sonwar Abdullah said that the whole cluster of human virtues like empathy, compassion, kindness, generosity, and forgiveness forms the core of Islam and that the need of the hour is to imbue our lives with these intrinsic qualities of Islam.
“We should repent and ask for forgiveness from Allah Almighty. My father Sher-e-Kashmir drew his energy from the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He withstood political shenanigans, oppression and confinements for the protection of the state’s special character and integrity. Now it is for the youth to shoulder that legacy of his, however we cannot put up a strong front against those as are inimical to the special constitutional position of our state unless we forge unanimity and not let regionalism, communalism and other prejudices divide us,” Abdullah was quoted by the spokesman as saying.
“Our state is facing a grim situation, the communal forces and their cronies in the state are contriving to destroy our special character, however it is up to us now to make clear to them how passionate we are about our integrity and special status,” he said adding, “The forthcoming elections provide us with a vital opportunity to clean the country and the state of communal filth. I am sure that people have made it a point to give a befitting reply to such forces as are hell-bent to destroy the pluralistic visage of the country.”
Party president later participated in the Fateha Khwani of late Ghulam Nabi Wani at his residence at Batwara. Party president visited the grief-stricken family of late Wani and personally extended condolences to Ex MLC Sheikh Ghulam Qadir Pardesi and YNC provincial president Ahsan Pardesi. He prayed for peace to the departed soul and strength to the grief-stricken family.
Green Srinagar Initiative: Nearly 40 thousand tree saplings planted in first week since launch
Srinagar, Mar 24: Nearly 40 thousand tree saplings have so far been planted in institutions and individual households under the ambitious Green Srinagar Initiative which was launched on March 15 here.
Giving details the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, said of nearly 40 thousand tree saplings of different varieties over 20 thousand saplings have been planted in 100 schools, over 12 thousand in different departments, about 1500 in different police stations, over a 1000 provided to different NGOs and about 3500 planted in individual households across Srinagar.
Dr. Shahid who is also the CEO of the Srinagar Smart City Limited which runs this initiative and oversees its implementation said the full target of planting 50 thousand tree saplings during the first phase of the project is expected to be achieved by the targeted date of first week of April.
The Green Srinagar initiative aims to make Srinagar green in the truest sense involving meaningful and smart plantation while bringing all plantation activities in the district under a single organized platform directing and managing them.
It also aims to gather and keep track of data of saplings planted in the district in order to ensure their post-plantation maintenance to get the desired results.
The project undertakes to plant 50 thousand Chinar saplings in addition to some 1.50 lac other tree saplings in schools and institutional areas and along avenues across the district during the first year. Plants exposed to public or vehicular movements are also being tree-guarded under the project.
Saplings have been made available at seven distribution centres set up at different locations one each in all seven zones of the district. Each distribution centre has been equipped with six workers and a dedicated vehicle for processing orders for saplings and undertaking plantation activities in areas falling within their respective zones.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan had flagged off a fleet of 10 dedicated green vehicles as part of the project launch on March 15.
Dr Shahid said besides the Green Srinagar mobile application the general public can call at phone numbers 7780819894, 6005830787 and 7006166039 to place their requests for plantation adding that order requests can also be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NC, PDP workers from Sonwar join Peoples Conference
Srinagar, Mar 24: In a major boost to Peoples Conference in Srinagar, more than 100 prominent NC & PDP workers from Sonwar joined Peoples Conference (PC) in presence of party chairman Sajad Gani Lone at Srinagar today.
Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone while welcoming the new entrants into the caravan of change said that PC is emerging as a strong and valiant pro-Kashmir and pro-people political alternative to the traditional family parties asserting there is widespread realization that PC is the only party which can mitigate the problems of people and take the state on a path towards prosperity.
“The people of Srinagar have been pushed against the wall and are facing a reign of economic persecution. The governance deficit in the previous regimes is responsible for economic dissatisfaction and political alienation in Kashmir. There are growing rumblings of discontent with the two parties. Now people of the state are yearning for change, they want an alternative to NC & PDP to take the state towards peace & prosperity”, he added.
Those who joined the party include NC Vice Block President Basharat Nazir Bhat, PDP youth leader Umar Mushtaq Mir, Halqa President PDP Shalimar Gazanfer Husain, NC Halqa President Balham Yaqoob Abbas, PDP’s Mohd Sarwar among others.
Urging the workers to work with commitment & zeal, Sajad asked them to serve the people selflessly to usher in an era of prosperity.