Power crisis: J&K govt aims to revive century old power project MOHRA


Jammu: In the backdrop of recent power outages, which also triggered resentment among general masses, the Jammu and Kashmir government has expedited the process of reviving   century old Hydro Electric Project (HEP)- MOHRA.

The Jammu and Kashmir’s Hydro Electric Project (HEP) – MOHRA is established the left bank of river Jhelum at Boniyar in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. The project was built in the year 1902 and commissioned in the year 1905, by Maharaja Hari Singh, by hiring the services of Canada born engineer, Major Alian de Litbniere, the MahuraHydro electric project was built with unique and rare features, which include 11 km long wooden flume as water conductor.

The power house started generating 3.75 megawatts electricity initially and it also served the purpose of irrigating nearest fields because of its unique construction. The power house suffered severe damage in the multiple floods that hit the area time to time. In 1959, the old power house was severely damaged in the flood and was renovated and its capacity was increased to 9 MW in the year 1962 and remained operational till 1992.

However, the 1992 floods again proved disastrous for the powerhouse and it devastated it beyond repair. The successive regimes latter showed no interest in reviving this historic power house.

Given the historic and heritage importance of the Mohra hydroelectric project, the then managing director, Jammu and Kashmir state power development corporation, Shah Faesal in the year 2017 had said that the corporation has prepared a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Rs 120 crore to revive the heritage project under Prime Ministers development package.

The recent announcement of principal secretary to Government, RohitKansal, that Mohra hydroelectric project will be revived by constructing a 10.5 MW small hydro electric project at Mohra has again given a hope for the revival of this hydroelectric power project.

He said that Mohra HEP shall be taken up for its construction by J&K power development corporation and the work is expected to be allotted as early as March 21.

Putting a spotlight on improvement in the power supply position in Jammu & Kashmir and to provide uninterrupted and reliable power supply to all, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha today directed the Power Development Department to introduce strict and innovative measures in order to meet various challenges in fulfilling energy needs of the people.

The Lt Governor was chairing a high-level meeting to review the Power scenario in J&K, wherein he enquired about the way forward and future deliverables planned by the Power Development Department.

The Lt Governor directed the Power department to adopt action-oriented approach to streamline the power transmission and distribution system, besides putting in place a quality control system and setting long term strategy for providing quality power with good mix of different sources of power to the consumers.

While reviewing various components of the Power sector, the Lt Governor passed specific directions on minimizing AT&C losses.

Take preemptive measures for reducing the AT&C losses to bare minimum, the Lt Governor directed the officials.

Stressing on effective patrolling of feeders, the Lt Governor directed for taking strict action against officials responsible for the feeder losses. He further directed for fixing criteria of 50 % weight-age in Annual Performance Reports of the officers with respect to the feeder losses.

The Lt Governor emphasized on putting dedicated focus on real-time monitoring of power consumption, increasing revenue realization, improving billing efficiency, reduction of Power cuts, and addressing the issue of low voltage.

Deploy competent manpower and establish a comprehensive plan for cities and towns with high power consumption. Take remedial measures for ensuring utilization of power infrastructure to their full capacity, the Lt Governor directed the PDD functionaries.

Emphasizing on strengthening the power connectivity in the far-flung areas, the Lt Governor called for reaching out to even the extremely remote and inaccessible areas with electricity. He also instructed the department to prepare a comprehensive plan for effective power connectivity in the vicinity of Shri Amarnathji shrine.

While suggesting the department to explore all the modalities and taking innovative steps for improving the efficiency of field functionaries, the Lt Governor called for incentivizing the field staff for their better performance. This will not only enhance the quality of work on ground, but will also help in improving the revenue generation, he added.

Laying special emphasis on making advance arrangements in the wake of any future vagaries, the Lt Governor asked the department to get ready in advance for the winters and start their preparations from 20th July.

For making the system more transparent and efficient, monitoring shall be done at all levels. Principal Secretary, PDD shall hold the meetings of XENs individually, the Lt Governor directed.

The Lt Governor also instructed the Power Department to rope in professional experts for power purchases. He asked the officials to mention the subsidy provided by the Government on electricity bills for the information of consumers.

As a follow-up to the directions passed in previous meetings regarding Unique Identification numbers for Transformers, the Lt Governor asked the officials for preparing History Cards of transformers with all technical details like damages, repairs, replacement, etc to ensure effective utilization of inventory and stores.

During the meeting, the Lt Governor also enquired about the Power purchases, energy availability, distribution plan, upcoming projects, overall working of the Power Development Department, besides various schemes and programmes being implemented by the department for further improvement and augmentation of power scenario in the UT.

The chair was also briefed about several key issues pertaining to languishing projects, transmission capacity, providing uninterrupted power supply, transmission and distribution.

The Lt Governor asked the department to focus on up-gradation and replacement of old and obsolete infrastructure to keep up with the emerging requirements.

Sh. Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary, Power Development Department briefed the chair about the overall power scenario and power potential in J&K.

He informed that the establishment of 6 MW Solar Power Plant at Pampore is in the offing, besides the department is also planning to revive the 10.5 MW Heritage Power project –MOHRA at Baramulla.

The PDD is catering to 20,46,623 consumers with around 18,000 MU energy input to fulfill the power requirement in J&K, he added.


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