JK’s Power Woes Will End By 2020: Advisor

SRINAGAR — Advisor to Governor, Ke­wal Kumar Sharma, on Saturday said the power crisis in the state would be overcome to a large extent by 2020 as massive infra­structure upgradation is going on in this key sector.

Taking a comprehensive review of the of power sector at a high-level meeting here today, Sharma asked the Power Development Department to ensure completion of all the infrastructure upgrada­tion projects within the set time­frame so that their benefits reach the people at the earliest. He said availability of assured electricity is one of the major concerns of the people in Kashmir especially dur­ing harsh winters. “When I was appointed Advisor recently, the main concern Governor expressed to me was to look into the power crisis in the State, and I am trying my best to mobilize the officials and the concerned wings of the department to expedite the aug­mentation projects,” he said.

Sharma said time has also come when the State would also look into the possibilities of using the solar and other renewable ener­gies to tide over the power crisis across the State. The meeting was attended by Commissioner Sec­retary PDD Hirdesh Kumar, De­velopment Commissioner Power, and Chief Engineer EM&RE, Chief Engineer S&O, and Chief Engineer Projects along with other con­cerned officers.

Sharma said the one of the key projects nearing completion is Alasteng Grid Station which would go a long way in augment­ing the power scenario in the Valley. He said the Grid station was being constructed at a cost of around Rs 109 crore and so far around Rs 81 crore has been spent on its construction. During the meeting, Chief Engineer, PDD, Hashmat Qazi briefed the Advisor about the overall functioning of the department. He informed the Advisor that the distribution in­frastructure is manned and oper­ated by around 9109 employees of various cadres as against the sanc­tioned strength of the 11563. He informed that the electric main­tenance and Rural Electrification Wing (EMRE) Kashmir was a sole entity for maintenance and opera­tions of the power system below 33 KV level in Kashmir. He further said that EM&RE wing caters to diverse mix of around 9.65 lakh consumers of various categories—having aggregate registered load of 1332.04 MV.

The Advisor was informed that in order to cater to the registered demand of the consumers, EMRE has a network infrastructure both at 33/11 KV level as well as 11/0.4KV level in far-flung areas where grid connectivity hasn’t been extended till date. “For in­stance, in Machil, Gurez, the power supply is provided by DG sets,” Qazi said. The Advisor was informed out of total 965239 con­sumers, 399693 consumers fall under metered category. The of­ficials informed the meeting that during summers, PDD supplies 24X7, electricity to consumers without any curtailment. They said with the change in the climate, the department faces the challenges of supplying increased load which used to increase gradually from autumn and peaked during winter. However, they informed that this year the valley witnessed snow­fall in November for the first time since 2009—resulting in abrupt surge in demand. The meeting was also informed about the current curtailment schedule implement­ed in the valley.

Regarding the transformer out­age and status, the Advisor di­rected the officials to work out the modalities to reinstall the trans­formers within stipulated time. He directed officials that the areas shouldn’t be without electricity for a week. The Advisor was informed that there are 26858 transformers across the valley. He directed the officers go for creation of buffer stock of power transformers and also ensure the clearance of liabili­ties of SSI units.

The Advisor directed the of­ficials to do regular inspection of consumers and prevent illegal use of power. During the meeting the status of the works under cen­trally sponsored schemes was also discussed threadbare. He said gov­ernment would put in place an ap­propriate mechanism to regularly monitor progress on execution of such projects.

“We need to ensure that we work in close coordination. Offi­cials must go on TV, use Radio and use mass media to educate con­sumers about drawbacks of power pilferage,” the Advisor said.

Be Part of Quality Journalism

Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.