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Climate change lessons for J&K

Days ahead of the Copenhagen summit on climate change, Jammu and Kashmir has delivered a lesson to itself, generate clean energy from its water resources before the rivers run dry, reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: Dec 02, 2009 12:02 IST
Arun Joshi

Days ahead of the Copenhagen summit on climate change, Jammu and Kashmir has delivered a lesson to itself, generate clean energy from its water resources before the rivers run dry.

Henceforth the state will not allow even a drop of water to be wasted. It has embarked on an ambitious plan to generate 17,000 MWs of hydro- power by 2029. It has set the process in motion already by going in for prospective planning and setting a deadline of next 20 years.

Before rivers in J&K run dry due to the climate change, the state wants to tap every drop of water to enrich itself in the clean energy. Trillions of cusecs of water has been wasted every year in the past 62 years.

Currently the state is generating only 2318 MWs of power- 1560 MW in the Central sector - Salal (690), Dul Hasti (390) and Uri (480) and rest 758 MW in state sector, of which Baglihar generates 450 MW.

Earlier, there were limited options of only National Hydro-electric Projects Corporation (NHPC) offering to construct the projects, and it took 17 to 25 years to execute the projects. Now the state has options, mostly from the private sector and international companies.

The government has identified 310 power projects, right from the Indus basin to Chnab basin in Jammu and Jhelum and Sindh basins in the Valley, with an estimated power generating capacity of 17,000 MWs.

It has set the deadline of 2029 for execution of these projects, which range from the capacity of 2 MW to 1020 MW mega project of Pukal Dul.

" The idea is to make maximum use of our water resources and that too at the earliest possible as the water is going away," said B R Sharma, Principal Secretary, Power Development Department, who had detailed discussions with the union power secretary HS Brahma on Monday, covering the whole gamut of the potential and exploiting the resource to this energy-starved state.

" Today we have the advantage of funds and technology, which was not available in the past," Sharma said.

There would be three ways of executing these projects - the mode execution of 64 of them mostly of the capacity of 200 MWs and above, would be finalised by next three months.

First, the Government could execute these projects, under the scheme known as " engineer, procure and construct", or, secondly, it could look for a joint venture with the Central public sector undertaking or private sector, and third way could be Tariff based bidding, in which international companies could bid.

The National Hydro-electric Corporation has shown interest in constructing all the major projects, with a generating capacity of 200 MWs and above.