J-K To Commission First Privately Built Power Project Today

29 June 2009
The Indian Express

Srinagar: Facing a power shortage, the Jammu and Kashmir Government is set to commission its first privately-promoted power project on Monday. The 10-megawatt project at Athwatoo will provide electricity to north Kashmir’s Bandipore town. The project, promoted by the Magpie Hydel Construction Operation Industries Pvt Limited, was completed in less than three years at a cost of about Rs 80 crore. The J-K Bank holds 70 per cent stake in the project, which will run on a Build, Own, Operate, Transfer (BOOT) basis. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah will inaugurate the project, which will be handed over to the government within 40 years. The J-K Government has given the greenlight for 10 such projects across the state in 2003 to improve the power situation. The number has since gone up to 65. The projects have mostly been undertaken by local promoters. Magpie is building a project at Tangmarg and another at Poonch in Jammu while PNR Engineering is building one in Budgam. “We have to repay the loan within 10 years. And we will have to pay around 12 per cent royalty to the state government,” said Mudasir Mir of Magpie. Mir said that the projects are durable and will fulfill their primary objective of improving the power situation in the state. “We will sell the electricity generated from the project to the government. Our mandate is privatisation and generation, not distribution.”