Editorial: Streamlining the Power Sector

The government claims that it has asked officers to speed up the process of implementation of various initiatives in the power sector especially the hydroelectric and solar energy. These measures, according to the government would ensure that sufficient amount of electricity is generated and provided to the consumers.

Recently a meeting of Management and Finance Sub-Committee of Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation Limited (JKSPDC) was held which was chaired by the state’s Deputy CM, Nirmal Singh who also happens to be the power minister.

What was claimed in the meeting is that the government has undertaken a multi-pronged strategy to ensure more generation of power besides, reducing the transmission and distribution losses. Besides, the government is seeking coordination from various officers involved in the power sector and thrust is being laid on ensuring timely completion of various projects undertaken in the hydroelectric sector.

One wonders about the governments announcements as the ground situation in the power sector is the same which reflects nothing short of a failure on the part of the government.

Tall claims and assertions aside, the state’s Power Development Corporation has performed so miserably that it has cost the State exchequer loss of crores of rupees. The new area in which the Corporation has shown poor record is in that of repair and maintenance of a number of Hydroelectric Projects (HEP) operational in the State.

Production of hydro electric power requires regular repair and maintenance. For this item there is also fund allocation and the question of paucity of funds does not arise.

The Deputy Chief Minister during the meeting emphasized that allocation of funds is not an issue as adequate funds have been provided under the Prime Ministerís Development Package to ensure augmentation and upgradation of the power sector in the State.

There are a number of projects that have developed some snag at one point of time or the other. However, from the very onset these faults have not been rectified despite the fact that most of these snags could have been managed with ease and little technical help.

Even at one time the Corporation requisitioned the services of an expert at a cost of about 4 lakh rupees and still a snag that had occurred in one of the projects could not be removed. Be it the Chenani Hydroelectric Renovation, Modernization and Upgrading project, or Unit-I and Unit-II of Pahalgam HEP or Stakna Power Project of Leh, there is one or the other problem of repair and maintenance with them which the Corporation has not been able to overcome.

Neither, the power generating capacity has been increased nor have the shut down electronic parts been replaced and the money remains locked up in the coffers of the Corporation. This is nothing but just hoodwinking the people with impunity and having no qualms of conscience about what losses the State suffers.

All this points out to the fact that the Power Department needs to check out the lacunae within the system that is being followed across the board. Besides, the top boses need to put their heads together and try to fix the responsibilities and take strict action against those who are found not doing their job with honesty and dedication. 








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