Need to exploit JK’s hydropower potential, says Vohra

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March 11: The hydropower potential of Jammu and Kashmir, if exploited to its fullest, shall enable all-round socio-economic growth and development of the State, Governor NN Vohra said on Thursday.

Chairing 71st meeting of Board of Directors of the Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Corporation, he stressed the importance of all identified objectives being achieved within envisaged time frames for the development of hydro power in the state keeping in view the immense potential of this sector.  “The Governor asked the Managing Director to urgently identify project-wise critical issues and personally ensure strict adherence to the timelines of each project to avoid cost escalation and generation loss due to the traditional recurring delays in project execution,” an official spokesman said.

The Governor directed that the meetings of the Board should be held at regular intervals to ensure timely decisions and to accelerate the progress of project implementation.

A Raj Bhavan spokesperson recalled that the last meeting of the PDC’s Board was held on 11th June 2014.

Important decisions taken in the meeting include: approval for construction of 178M Steel Bridge over river Chenab on access road to 1856 MW Sawalkote HEP besides 1500 M length double lane tunnel for external access to the Sawalkote HEP.

“With a view to expedite the construction of 93 MW New Ganderbal Hydro Electric Project, the Board approved constitution of a High Level Committee comprising Administrative Secretaries of Planning and Development, Finance and Power and MD JKSPDC to examine the issues related to the cost of the HEP within a period of one month and submit its recommendations for approval of the Government,” the spokesman said.

The Board also approved the extension of time for early completion of Bridge at village Ganpat, Doda, which is being constructed by the JKPCC and stressed the need for its completion by April, 2016.

The Board discussed the development of mini hydel power projects of the capacity of 2 MW to 25 MW under Prime Minister’s Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Plan and directed the Administrative Secretary PDD to submit a detailed Action Plan for expediting private sector participation in the power sector.

The Governor directed that the remaining works of BagliharHydel Electric Project Stage-II should be completed without any delay whatsoever and asked the Managing Director PDC to ensure that the Corporation’s internal systems were strengthened and streamlined to ensure the timely approval of various power projects and the effective management of every Contract. The Board also approved (i) the implementation of the left over works of Catchment Area Treatment Plan of BagliharHydel Electric Project for coverage of left over areas of 2587 hectares; (ii) the proposal to form a Joint Venture Company with 67% equity participation by NTPC and 33% by JKSPDC for development of Kudanali-Laburi Coal Block in Odhisa. The total Geological reserves of the coal block is estimated at 396 metric tonnes with allocation of 266 metric tonnes to NTPC and 130 metric tonnes to JKSPDC.

This was the first meeting of the Board after its recent reconstitution by the Governor. The PDC met after a gap of almost two years.

In his presentation to the Board the MD, JKSPDC informed about the various ongoing projects and the PDC’s future road map. The Corporation has plans to take up 66 projects, including those under IPPs, with a total installed capacity of 7645 MW in the next 7 years. The process of revising the PDC’s existing IPP policy is presently underway, to make it more attractive to the prospective investors.

The meeting was attended by B.R. Sharma Chief Secretary, B.B. Vyas, Financial Commissioner, Planning & Development Department, Dheeraj Gupta, Commissioner /Secretary to Government, Power Development, Navin K. Choudhary Commissioner/Secretary to Government, Finance Department,  KifayatHussain Rizvi, Managing Director JKSPDC, besides Executive Directors of JKSPDC Muzaffar Lanker, Ajay Gupta, Director Finance, Upinderjit Singh, R.S. Dhillon Executive Director PFC and Sunil Gupta, Company Secretary JKSPDC.

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