As the winters dawn in Kashmir we have always witnessed long spells of load shedding hitting the Valley of Kashmir impacting the daily chorus of masses and adversely effecting the industrial, business progress and study schedule of students. Long hours without electricity not only haunt masses but life without electricity is full of depression. The menace of electricity has plagued the majority of areas of Kashmir since very long and every government that has come in power has had no effective answers or policy mechanisms to deal with this problem. One effective answer to the electricity problem could be to tap the enormous hydro-electricity potential of Jammu & Kashmir especially Kashmir Valley and utilize this potential in right direction.
All throughout the history, the hydroelectricity potential of our state Jammu& Kashmir especially the water rich Kashmir Valley is a well known fact. Power Development in Jammu and Kashmir has a long and illustrious history. 9MW Mohra Hydro-electric Plant, among the first of its kind in the subcontinent, was developed as early as 1905. The estimated hydel potential is about 20,000 MW.
The Jammu& Kashmir State Power Development Corporation presently has 20 hydroelectric projects with installed capacity of 758.70MW located in various districts of Jammu & Kashmir including 450MW BHEP. .
We have a very huge hydroelectricity potential which if properly tapped can end the problem of power cuts in Kashmir .Although, there is a difference of opinion on the total hydroelectric power potential of the J&K State with JKSPDC putting it at about 20,000 Mw’s. But on the other hand independent assessment has revealed that Jammu and Kashmir’s hydropower potential is 25,000 megawatts, much higher than the state government’s estimated figure of 16000 to 20,000 megawatts. But from all estimates the hydroelectricity potential of Kashmir is huge.
To ensure continuous electricity supply we should also cut down transmission- distribution losses. Pertinently, the power sector faces in the state is the transmission and distribution losses which are more than 63 per cent of the total electricity generation of the state. According to a report released few years back , the transmission and distribution losses are about 50 per cent, while the rest 13 per cent are collection losses, making it an aggregate of 63 per cent. Another disturbing factor revealed by the survey is that the state with such a huge hydropower potential had to purchase 90 per cent of the total electricity consumed in the state in 2006-07 from central power agencies.
In addition to tapping the hydroelectricity potential of Jammu & Kashmir Curbing of the theft of electricity, ensuring the efficient metering system could go long way in solving the grave issue of power crisis in Kashmir.
With the elections round the corner and very few months left before a new state government can take over the reins of power in Jammu & Kashmir the masses are pinning the hopes that the new State Government after assuming the office should tackle the issue of electricity failure in Kashmir especially during winters.