Harnessing power potential key to Kashmir’s economic rebound: Mehbooba

Jammu, April 28 (IANS) Asserting that electric power is the key for a rebound of Jammu and Kashmir’s economy, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday said the identified 15,000 MW potential of the state needs to be harnessed.

Chairing a meeting of top officials of the state power development department (PDD) here, Mufti said they “should devise a comprehensive roadmap in view of the distress in power generation, transmission and distribution systems so that quality power supply is ensured to the consumers”.

She also advised the department to take all necessary steps to clear mounting liabilities on account of power purchase.

“Power is a key enabler for fueling a rebound in the economy for which PDD will have to firm up timelines to ensure timely execution of projects.

“The power scenario remains sluggish and we need to do more, as the state has potential to generate far more,” she said.

Raising certain specific issues which are a drag on the sector, she asked PDD to harness the identified power potential of around 15,000 MW out of which the state is only able to generate a 3,272 MW.

The shortfall due to the widening gap between power purchased and revenue realised, the chief minister was informed, would have to be bridged by issuance of bonds by the state government.

To ease constraints, Mehbooba Mufti urged PDD to remove impediments in commissioning of under-execution state sector projects like Parnai, Lower Kalnai, Hanu & Dah as well as those in IPP like Rattle HEP within the stipulated timelines.

The chief minister was presented with a roadmap for capacity addition for the next six years that envisages 6,254.50 MW generation of through 13 state sector projects, 1,679 MW through five central sector projects and 1,210 MW through big and small IPP projects.

She was also briefed about ‘Power for All’ which aims at ensuring uninterrupted supply of power to existing consumers and providing access to electricity to all unconnected consumers in a time-bound manner by 2019-20. As many as 108 villages are still un-electrified, which PDD is targeting to cover over the next one year.

To overcome the hardships faced by people due to power shortage in hot summer months in Jammu, Mufti directed the PDD to work out a ‘Summer Preparedness Plan’ which ensures adequate availability and strict adherence to power cut schedule so that consumers do not face any hardships.

–IANS

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