Jammu: Power losses in Jammu and Kashmir have alarmingly mounted to Rs 4000 crore per year prompting Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to direct the Power Development Department to reduce deficit by 10 percent within the next three months.
“The Jammu and Kashmir is suffering heavy losses due to gap between electricity purchase bill and revenue generation,” reported a newspaper quoting official sources
The Government has to purchase electricity worth Rs 6500-6600 crore every year. Against this, the Government is generating revenue of only Rs 2600 crore.
“J&K has highest power losses in the country which the Government is trying to reduce. Target has been given to the Power Development Department to reduce this by 10 percent in three months,” sources said.
Pointing out that in the last 70 years, only 3,500 MWs capacity of electricity was installed, sources said Jammu and Kashmir is a power-deficit region. The Government has, however, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Hydro-electric Power Corporation (NHPC) on the Sawalakote power project. It is being constructed since 1984 and has not been completed in 46 years. Now the Government is confident that it will be completed in the next five years.
“Whatever power generation capacity was built in the last 70 years, the Government will be doubling it in five years. It will be producing electricity of 3,400 MWs capacity in 4-5 years. After that, there will be no power problem in J&K,” sources said, adding the hydropower is not reliable during peak hours so the UT needs alternate sources of energy.
“The Government has signed MoUs for solar power,” they said.
Meanwhile, investment proposals under the new Industrial Policy which was Rs 23,000 crore about a fortnight back including Rs 12,000 crore in Jammu division and Rs 11,000 crore in Kashmir region have now reached Rs 25,000 crore. Jammu’s share has gone up to Rs 12,800 crore and that of Kashmir to Rs 12,200 crore, sources disclosed.
Asserting that the Government has got enough land, they said initially the industry will be given land on 40 years lease which will be extended to 99 years.
As against Rs 28,400 crore worth investments and generation of 4-5 lakh jobs anticipated initially under the new Industrial Policy, the Government is now targeting Rs 50,000 crore worth investments and around 10 lakh jobs.
Big industrial houses have been showing their interest in investing in J&K.
“JSW is one of the big industrial houses,” they said, adding the investors want to invest in cold storage, food processing, manufacturing, IT and IT-based services, hospitals, handicrafts, pharmaceuticals, optical fiber, telecom equipment, cement, beverages, steel, etc.
Sources said the Government won’t tolerate any kind of anti-national activities saying that the administration has sacked 21 Government employees and whosoever is involved in such activities action will be taken against them.
“We are not going to tolerate anti-national activities by the Government employees,” they asserted
On security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, sources remarked that this was for the first time in J&K’s history that Independence Day was celebrated in every school and Panchayat of the UT. However, to further improve the security situation, they said, officials are on the job to get more technological help. They also referred to good coordination among Army, CRPF and JKP.
On steps being taken to prevent youth from joining militancy, they said the militants are being given an opportunity to surrender whenever an encounter takes place. Even families of the militants are brought to the encounter site to persuade their kin to surrender.
“Many such youth have surrendered. We are trying to wean away the youth from militancy and bring them back to the mainstream,” they added.
Sources said that tourists have been visiting Jammu and Kashmir in large numbers
“Ten lakh tourists have visited Jammu and Kashmir in July alone. This is a message in itself. People now feel it’s safe to visit Jammu and Kashmir,” they added.
According to them, some tourist destinations are not known to the people and the Government is trying to tap this potential, both in Jammu and Kashmir divisions. Some places have been identified for development, they said.
Government sources said there is no threat from Taliban in Jammu and Kashmir and security forces are ready to combat any situation even as they asserted that security environment has improved in the Valley and there is good coordination among Army, CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police.
“We have sealed the borders. It is very difficult (for the Taliban) to come over here. Our forces are not only ready but they also have clarity of purpose,” sources said.