Kashmir focuses on smaller hydroelectric projects

Jammu: Shifting its focus from mega ventures, the Jammu and Kashmir government will soon be constructing 10 small hydroelectric projects to generate and supply power faster to despairing consumers, without much transmission and distribution losses, authorities say.

The projects – tenders for which were floated last week – will be built on the tributaries of major rivers like the Chenab, Jhelum and the Ravi. They range from a capacity of 6 MW to 45 MW, with a total strength of 172 MW.

“This is to tap all the necessary power generating resources in Jammu and Kashmir,” state Power Minister Shabir Ahmed Khan said in an interview.

These projects are located in Ramban, Reasi, Kathua and Baramulla districts, according to Shaleen Kabra, managing director of the state power development corporation.

A project on the Bichlari nullah, a tributary of the Chenab in Ramban of Jammu region, is named Bichlari. It would have the capacity to generate 45 MW of electricity.

Another one on a tributary of the same river would be set up at Ansl in Reasi, with 40 MW capacity.

The smallest of these projects, with 6 MW capacity, will be set up on the Hapthkhai nullah in Boniyar town of Baramulla district of north Kashmir.

Other projects with varying capacities of 7 MW to 27 MW would be set up on tributaries and nullahs in Poonch, Ganderbal and Baramulla districts.

“We are facing acute power shortage,” the minister said. “The annual purchase bill of power is touching Rs.1,790 crore.”

Kabra said, “We want to go in for all sorts of projects.”

The companies which have qualified would have to undergo a bidding process, he added.

According to official sources, the state has an estimated capacity of generating 18,000 MW of power from its rivers, but it has not been able to generate more than one tenth of this.

It gets only 12 percent of power from the hydro projects constructed by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited (NHPC).

The state owns only one mega project at Baglihar of 450 MW capacity while the rest like Salal, Dul Hasti and Uri are owned by NHPC.


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