JAMMU In a bid to boost the Jammu and Kashmir economy, the Mehbooba Mufti-led government is all set to host in July-end its first ever "global investors meet", aimed at harnessing hydro power potential of 20,000 mega watts in the state.
Jammu and Kashmir has exploited only about 16 per cent of the estimated 20,000 MW of hydro-power potential for the past two decades even as the energy demand has been growing gradually, creating a wider demand-supply gap.
"I am hosting (first-ever) global investor meet by July-end (in the state to focus on harnessing of the huge hydro power potential of J&K)," Minister for power Sunil Sharma told PTI today.
The investors from hydro-power sector from across the world, not from India only, will take part in the meet, he said adding, "We will give a presentation on the hydro power potential of J&K before them".
Some of the world's top most hydro-power generation companies are expected to take part in the global investor meet in Srinagar by July-end.
They will be asked for investment in harnessing of the hydro power potential of J&K, he said.
Jammu and Kashmir has exploited only about 16 per cent of the estimated 20,000 MW of hydro-power potential even as the energy demand has been growing gradually creating a wider demand-supply gap, the state economic survey 2017 said.
The estimated hydro-power potential of Jammu and Kashmir is 20,000 MW, of which about 16,475 MW has been identified.
"This comprises 11,283 MW in Chenab basin, 3,084 MW in Jhelum basin, 500 MW in Ravi Basin and 1,608 MW in Indus basin. Only 3,263.46 MW, about 20 per cent of the identified potential of 16,475 MW and only about 16 per cent of the estimated potential of 20,000 MW has been exploited until now which comprises 1,211.96 MW in the state sector, 2,009 MW in central sector and 42.5 MW in private sector," the report said.
Blaming the previous dispensations for failure to tap such a huge power potential, Sharma said if we sincerely harness this potential, it will change the fate and narrative of Jammu and Kashmir towards peace progress and prosperity.
"The rivers of J&K are biggest resource for our economic growth, employment generation and new era of development. We have not been able to tap our rivers. we have kept J&K hostage to certain laws. World has changed since then but J&K has lagged behind," Sharma said.
J&K has such a power policy, which instead of attracting the investments, have discouraged investors, he said adding that development and economy should be kept out of the any redlines of laws and acts.
"State economy will be given fillip by this (harnessing of hydro power on our rivers). Water is our biggest resource than tourism and agriculture. I am sincere to bring major changes in this sector," Sharma said.
Various reforms are underway at the level of the state government and the Centre for making the power sector more efficient and more competitive. While there is some progress, but the power shortage continues to haunt the state and is a major constraint for the development of the industry, he added.
A total of 3,263.46 MW has been harnessed on three western rivers from Jehlum, Chenab and Indus through state, central and public private partnership mode of execution.
While four projects -- 9 MW Dah project, 9 MW Hanu project, 37.5 MW Parnai project and 48 MW Lower Kalnai project -- are under execution, Chenab Valley Power Project has been entrusted to implement three hydro power projects in Kishtwar, including 1,000 MW Pakal Dul, 624 MW Kiru and 540 MW Kwar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently laid foundation of the Pakal Dul.
The biggest problem is on the distribution front as Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT-C) losses of the state are on the higher side.
The main reasons for such high losses are technical as well as commercial. To minimise losses, the system needs up-gradation and improvements, especially in existing outdated distribution network. However, with the efforts of the government the AT-C losses, which were estimated at 61.30 per cent in 2014-15 were reduced to 58.82 per cent in 2015-16. This has been posing a major challenge to the fiscal health of the state.
The minister said that the reforms under power sector also include creation of new transmission corridors on a fast-track basis, creation of smart grid infrastructure and promotion of joint ventures under participatory mode.
The economic survey report of 2017 says the energy demand in Jammu and Kashmir has gradually increased by about two to three per cent annually up to the financial year 2015-16.
During the financial year 2016-17, the energy demand has increased by 1.6 per cent over the previous year. However, against the energy requirement of 18,487.59 MUs, the state has met a restricted energy demand of 15,667.449 MUs, thereby reducing the energy deficit from 21.83 per cent in 2015-16 to 15.25 per cent in 2016-17, the report said.
Though there is a gradual increase in the recovery of tariff since 2002-03, yet the gap between the targets and actual revenue realised has not been bridged. In the year 2016-17, the revenue target was Rs 3860.36 crore, out of which the pure revenue was Rs 1,715.32 crore and along with miscellaneous revenue and electricity duty, the total revenue realized was Rs 1877.72 crore, which is 48.64 per cent only.
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