8 Yrs After Enactment Of JK Electricity Act,State Still Sans Electricity Policy

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Srinagar—Eight years have passed since the government no­tified the Jammu and Kashmir Electricity Act following its enact­ment by the Legislature and ap­proval by the Governor, the state is still without Electricity Policy.

The Act stresses for formu­lation of Electricity Policy and plan for development of power system. “Last year the govern­ment announced that Electric­ity Policy will be framed and re­ceived suggestions from people, which were incorporated in the draft. The draft was also submit­ted to government but no steps have been initiated for its imple­mentation,” an official of the Power Development Department wishing anonymity told KNS.

“Jammu and Kashmir is in a dire need of Electricity Policy as state continues to face power crisis. Last year the govern­ment framed draft of Electricity Policy without any implementa­tion,” the official said.

An official of the State Electric­ity Regulatory Commission told KNS that the Electricity Policy is necessary to set up a target of power tariff in the next 10-years.

“There shall be a target what will be power tariff after three years and requirement of electricity to the state. The Electricity Policy would have been a roadmap for up-grada­tion of power infrastructure in the state and also for protection of con­sumer interests,” the official said.

J&K is one among the states having vast hydro power poten­tial from where electricity is also being supplied to several parts of India. 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-owned NHPC and other power corporations.

At the same time, the state government has failed to frame Electricity Policy that could have been a ‘road map’ how to improve the power sector.

The government of India in December last year announced an allocation of additional power of 792 MW for Jammu and Kashmir in view of higher demand in winters in the state.

However, people say that there has been no improvement in pow­er supply in the valley. “Had there been the policy, government would know what are the measures have to be taken for upgrading, creation of power infrastructure, and over­coming power shortage during peak hours,” he said.

The policy according to the of­ficial is also necessary for genera­tion of hydroelectricity. “Govern­ment should know how much it is going to generate electricity in the next five or 10 years,” he added.

The state has a hydroelectric­ity potential of 20,000 MWs of which around 3000 MWs have been identified so far with NHPC generating 2009 MWs from its seven power projects, which is almost half of the energy, the power giant generates from its projects in other states. (KNS)

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