SRINAGAR: Kashmir Valley is set to get another power transmission line, in addition to the existing three, to bring energy from Punjab and the Northern Grid. The fourth line, completed in record time of four years, can add 2000 MW of energy that would go a long way in solving the perennial problem of power cuts, especially in winter.
Known as NRSS-29, the transmission line is so sturdy it can bear wind speeds of 100 miles/hour, intense avalanche attacks, and earthquakes up to magnitude of 8 on the Richter Scale.
Laid over 100 kilometres of rugged terrain, with air-crane helicopters used for its construction, the line can have faster maintenance work done compared to the existing three.
“The project was allotted in 2014, and we were proposed to deliver in October 2018, a deadline that has been met. We only need to do a small percent of the work; the rest is done,” said Balaji Krishna Swami, corporate head of Sterlite Power, the company that has constructed the project.
At present, power from other Indian states is transported to Jammu & Kashmir through two 220 KV lines and one 120 KV line. Unlike other projects, like the Alistang transmission line which has not met its deadline at least four times, the NRSS-29 will finish on schedule this October. It will ensure reliable and stable power supply to Kashmir Valley in addition to Akhnoor, Rajouri and Poonch areas of Jammu region.
Funded by the Government of India, the line can also be used to transport power from Jammu & Kashmir to other parts of India. Five percent of the project cost, which is in proportion to length of the transmission line passing through Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary, has been provided by the user agency for establishment and conservation of Vulture/Pheasants Breeding centre at a suitable area. The user agency will also pay Net Present Value (NPV) charges for the land to be diverted for project development and Markhor conservation. About 77 hectares of forest land comes under the line.
Kashmir’s perennial problem of unscheduled power cuts are mainly because of the limited carrying capacity of the state’s electricity transportation system. This came into public domain last year when the state government was struggling to provide uninterrupted supply to areas in the Valley.