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

Early Times Report
JAMMU, Dec 21: Grappling with power crisis, Jammu Kashmir has received a major setback after no company showed willingness to work on a project for power reformation in the new Union Territory despite tenders sought twice by the Power Development Department.
A centrally sponsored scheme ‘Restructured-Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Program (R-APDRP)’ was launched in Jammu and Kashmir in 2014. It was aimed to reform the power infrastructure including reduction of transmission and distribution losses in the new Union Territory.
The project was then allotted to a Kolkatta based company with 2016 deadline for its completion. Despite giving two years extensions, the company had completed less than 20 percent works following which their contract was terminated.
For the last one year, the PDD had sought tenders twice without any company showing any interest to taken on 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.
The official said project would have brought several major reforms in the electricity infrastructure. “Under the reforms project, there would be installation of transformers, poles and lying of cables. It would also have helped to bring down transmission and distribution (T&D) losses to 20 percent from present over 50 percent,” the official said.
He however said the project won’t be affected with the implementation of Central Electricity Regulatory Act in the new Union Territory.
“PDD still remains executing agency of the project and is again going to seek tenders,” he said.
The Rs 662-crore programme was approved for the summer capital Srinagar and parts of districts including Ganderbal, Pulwama and, Budgam and few districts of Jammu region.
Jammu and Kashmir is struggling with power crisis these days. The electricity scenario deteriorates in Kashmir during the 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.

By: Ishtiyaq Ahmad

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