84% of JK’s power potential remains untapped: Economic Survey Report

JAMMU: Even as power crisis in Jammu and Kashmir only worsens by the day, 84 per cent of identified power potential in the state remains untapped, according to the Economic Survey Report 2013-14.
The report says the state is ‘perpetually energy deficient’ and has to rely on power purchases from Northern Grid to meet its requirements especially during the winters when demand peaks and local generation reduces due to drastic reduction in river discharge.
“As such there remains a huge gap between the requirement and the availability of power,” says the report which was tabled in the ongoing Budget Session of the legislature.
The power purchase has increased from 1706 MWs (9640 Million Units) during 2004-05 to 2120 MWs (14750 MUs) during 2008-09, and the demand is expected to touch 4000 MWs (19500 MUs) by 2020-21, the report says.
The total availability of power for 2013-14 amounts to 9632.782 MUs against the restricted demand of 12046.99 MUs through banking arrangements with NVVN, Punjab, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and also from Power Trading Corporation besides overdrawls from the Northern Grid, it says.
One of the reasons for increasing power purchase from outside is because of government’s inefficiency to harness the potential which roughly stands at 20,000 Megawatts (MWs).
Out of the identified 16,480 MWs power potential, only 2693.45 MWs (or 16 per cent) has been exploited so far. The tapped power consists of 761.96 MWs in state sector from 21 power projects and 1889 MWs from seven power projects under central sector.
The report says New Delhi’s pre-conditions imposed on J&K in centre-state power shares have left the consumers striving for energy.
“While the hydel projects constructed in the central sector allow the state only 12 per cent of energy actually generated, even in the state sector 450 MW Baglihar hydel project commissioned recently, the state has to sell about 50 per cent of the energy to outside buyers as a pre-condition imposed by the rendering institutions leaving its own consumers striving for energy,” it says, adding that due to Indus Water Treaty, the state has to choose less economic designs of hydel projects.
The power deficit is also increasing with 14.45 per cent rise from previous year; thus the gap between receipts from power consumers and expenditure on power purchase is widening continuously. “For 2012-13 the deficit in power is recorded at Rs 2281 crore posting an increase of 14.45 per cent over previous year’s deficit of Rs 1993 crore.”
Another area of concern, the report says, has been the transmission and distribution losses which are very high in the state. These losses account for 62 per cent for 2011-12, and are estimated to be 57 per cent for 2013-14.
The main reasons for such losses are technical as well as commercial. The high technical losses are attributed to existing outdated system, the report says.
The report also says that only 55 per cent habitations are electrified while the rest reel under darkness.
Out of 24,655 total habitations, 11,006 are un-electrified or de-electrified or partially electrified, amounting to 45 per cent of total as on October 2013.