Uncertainty in Kashmir: No company ready to take up power reforms project

Mudassir Kuloo

Srinagar, Dec 18:  Uncertainty has severely hit much awaited power reforms project as private companies have expressed reluctance to work in Kashmir.

Under ‘Restructured-Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Program (R-APDRP)’ scheme, the government had invited tenders from private players for augmenting power infrastructure and reducing transmission and distribution losses.

The project was allotted to Kolkatta based company in 2014 and the company was asked to complete the project in two years. Despite giving two year extension, the company failed to complete the task and with the result the government terminated their contract. 

For the last one year, the PDD had invited tenders twice but no company showed any interest in the project. “It is a major setback that no company is coming forward to work on the project citing uncertainty in Kashmir. One of the companies told us that it is not possible to work on this project under present circumstances,” said an official of Power Development Department.

Under Rs 662 Crore project, the government intended to install new transformers, new cables and poles, and build necessary infrastructure to bring down transmission and distribution (T&D) losses to 20 percent from present 50 percent.

Kashmir is facing huge power crisis this winter. The electricity scenario deteriorates during winter months when the power demand reaches over 2000 MWs against the availability of 1200 MWs.

“We provide 1200 MWs of electricity to consumers in Kashmir and the demand during winter months reaches to 2000 MWs. Like the previous years, there won’t be any improvement in the power supply as Kashmir lacks required infrastructure like transformers and grids,” said a senior official of the Power Development Department.

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