January 2018 News

Hydropower Projects Either Far From Completion Or Not Yet Begun

15 January 2018
Kashmir Reader
Junaid Nabi Bazaz

Srinagar: None of the hydropower projects envisaged during the Omar Abdullah-led government has been completed, with many of them having missed deadlines, reveals government information tabled on Monday in the state assembly. This delay is certain to dash the dreams of the government of achieving nearly 6000 MW of hydro power by 2021. Omar's government in 2013 had said that by 2021 Jammu and Kashmir will be an energy surplus state, after giving the nod to nearly 6000 MW capacity of hydro power projects, the majority of which were to be constructed on the Chenab river in Jammu region. In 2018, except work on one power project work, six are still undergoing paper work. As per the government's information, only 10 percent of the work on the 48-MW lower Kalnai power project, which was scheduled to be finished by September 2017, has been completed. The government had given the same answer in the last assembly session which means there has been no progress in work since then. The Coastal Project Ltd, the company to which the Kalnai project was awarded, has not even acquired all the land required for the project. They have not even constructed the site office, site store, stock yard and labour colony. Sources told Kashmir Reader that the government had engaged the ICCS-Rodic Consortium as project management consultants, who took billions of rupees for work they had never done before. 'Project under execution, only 10% progress achieved. Due to poor performance of contractor commissioned schedule is bound to be delayed,' reads the government's response. About the 1000 MW Pakaldul project, 624 MW Kiru, and 540 MW Kwar projects, the government said that they are in the advanced stage of tendering. Regarding the 1856 MW Sawalkote project, the government said that it awaits clearance from CEA. For the 390 MW Kirthai-I, DPR is under appraisal at CEA while for the 930 MW Kithai-II HEP, the government said that a consultant has been engaged for preparation of bid documents for execution of project in EPC mode. The delay in work on power projects is a common feature in Jammu and Kashmir. The 850-MW Ratle power project is an example, which was lying abandoned for years. Though the government in its recent economic survey report has said that it will be taken over by state-owned Power Development Corporation, after the contractor, M-s GVK, abandoned it in July 2014. Last year, the government had decided to take legal recourse against the company, of which nothing has come out so far. The story of 93-MW Ganderbal, which was awarded to HCC recently, is the same. Work on it for the past two decades remained suspended as the state government did not give its nod to a proposal sent by the Power Development Corporation (PDC). Now the HCC is delaying signing the contract for it. It is giving various reasons to protect its image, but insiders in the company told Kashmir Reader that the company has serious issues with its balance sheet.