Srinagar: What could be seen as non-seriousness on their part, the District Development Commissioners have failed to identify the land in their respective districts for solar power projects.
Official sources said that Deputy Commissioners of all 22 districts of the state have been told several times to identify the suitable land for solar power projects. It would have helped the state to improvise power scenario of the state that is facing acute power shortage. However, the DCs have so far failed to identify land in their respective districts. “Few might have started the process, but most have taken so no steps in this regard so far,” an official said.
He said that state has decided to explore the solar power sector in view of “huge burden” of the power purchase cost on the state exchequer.
“The increasing burden of power purchase on state exchequer has prompted the government to decision about generation of solar power,” the official said.
He said that burden of the power purchasing has prompted the government to ask DCs to identify land to explore solar power sector in the state to meet electricity requirement.
In the last six-years, Jammu and Kashmir has spent over Rs 28,000 crore on power purchase, mostly from the centre-owned National Hydro Electricity Power Corporation (NHPC). At the same time, there has been around 50 percent revenue generation gap over the years
During 2011-2012, Rs 3761.52 crore were spent on power purchases, which went up to Rs 4103 during 2012-2013.
Rs 4471 crore were spent during 2013-2014 on power purchase, while Rs 5153 crore, Rs 5293 crore and Rs 5524 crore were spent during 2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017, respectively.
The state has spent such a huge amount on power purchase despite having a huge potential of hydroelectricity.
JK has second highest potential of solar power in India. As per the study conducted by the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), J&K has a solar power potential of 111.05 GWp, the second highest in India after Rajasthan, which has the potential of 142 GWp.
He said that state government is spending huge amount of money on power purchases despite having estimated 20,000 megawatts hydro power potential, of which around 3000 megawatts are being generated.