2000 MWs needed, only 1300MWs available
Power woes will continue to haunt people of Kashmir this winter. ‘Only 1300 mega watts are available with the Power Development Department as against the demand that is 2000MWs,’ officials said. The deficit of 700MWs could have been met easily if National Hydro Power Project (NHPC) would not have controlled two power projects in Jammu and Kashmir. The Uri 1 and Uri 2 generate controlled by NHPC generate 1200 MWs of power that goes to outside states.
According to Kashmir News Trust, there are only five power projects that are owned by government in Kashmir. They are Lower Jehlum, Upper Sindh Hydro Power Project Kangan 1 and Upper Sindh Hydro Power Project Sumbal 2, Ganderbal Hydro Power Project and Mini Hydro Power Project Pahalgam. These power projects have a capacity of 348MWs but during winters the generation capacity comes down to 68MWs only. “To meet this deficit the PDD either buys the power or resorts to power cuts. It heavily depends upon the power cuts that add to the problems of the people,” said an official.
He said interestingly, the state buys power from the NHPC which the Corporation produces by using water resources of Jammu and Kashmir.
The successive governments in Jammu and Kashmir had promised to people that it will get back the power projects from NHPC, but under pressure from New Delhi, these governments either remained silent over the issue or surrendered completely. Even the Indian Power Minister during his visit to Kashmir categorically refused to hand over power projects to Valley that are run by NHPC.
An official on condition of anonymity told KNT that during National Conference-Congress government, then a Minister from Kashmir tried to pursue the matter and even made revelations, how a top politician probably after receiving kickback helped NHPC to take control of power projects was asked to keep mum.
There are so many civil societies, NGO’s, trade bodies from Kashmir who have been accusing NHPC of acting as East India Company in Kashmir which only believed in exploitation and maximization of profits.