Home India Decks yet to be cleared for much talked about 100 mw solar project in Samba
Decks yet to be cleared for much talked about 100 mw solar project in Samba

Decks yet to be cleared for much talked about 100 mw solar project in Samba

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Though the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has sanctioned 100 mw Solar Power Project for the State of J&K to be set up in Samba district of Jammu region in year 2015 , it could not take off till date as the State Government has failed to allot the land for the project.
According to official sources, the Project is to be developed in village Mohar Garh and Badla Brahmna in district Samba over 600 acres of land. But due to the official apathy and interdepartmental wrangles the establishment of solar project turns to be a distant dream so far.
The proposed solar park was to be developed by Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA) which is under the control of Science and Technology Department. The S&T is the nodal agency for the promotion and implementation of all the renewable energy projects largely sponsored by the MNRE, GOI.
However, the main impediment in the allotment of land is that some patches of it are occupied by the State Forest Department, sources said, adding till date it ( Forest Department) has not transferred the land to the JAKEDA demanding Rs 18 crore as its cost. This was the biggest hurdle in starting work on Solar Park Project.
To settle the issue, the Government has now constituted a Forest Advisory Committee headed by Chief Secretary B R Sharma with senior officers from Forest Department and JAKEDA as its members. However, the Committee has not met as yet to clear the issue regarding the transfer of the Forest land to the JAKEDA.
Admitting that JAKEDA has not been given the allotment of land for the project so far, Commissioner/Secretary Law with additional charge of Science and Technology, Mohammed Ashraf Mir told Excelsior that the Department is pursuing the same seriously. He said the Department is hopeful to get the land transferred to JAKEDA as early as possible so that the work on solar plant can be started.
Though as per MNRE norms 500 MW qualifies for a solar park, sources said, adding the thumb rule prescribed one mw of solar power project requires five acres of land and for generating 500 mw of solar park (minimum capacity ) 2500 acres of land were required.
As the availability of land in the State is quite difficult , the MNRE , relaxed the norms as a special case for J&K for setting up solar park and as such a solar park of 100 mw aggregate capacity only as against 500 mw minimum capacity was sanctioned for the State.
For development of solar park the JAKEDA started the process and it sent a communiqué to the Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu as well as the district collectors of the State to identify, the suitable land for the proposed solar park project, sources said, adding in response to the JAKEDA’s letter District Development Commissioner Samba, proposed a land bank measuring 619.29 acres in Mohar Garh and Badla Brahmna in the district.
As per the DDC Samba’s communiqué 421 acres of land were identified in village Mohargah and 198.28 acres were identified at Badla Brahmna in the same district for the project. The status of the land was Gair Mumkin jungle and as per revenue records it was the State land, sources added.
But the Forest Department raised objections saying some portion of identified land belonged to it and it will not handover the same to the JAKEDA till payment of Rs 18 crore as its cost.
Sources said a team of consultants Meghraj India appointed by Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR ) for the project visited the site in the month of October last year for assessment of feasibility etc and it has submitted its interim report to JAKEDA on January 27 this year.
The Forest Department is demanding Rs 16.50 crore as compensation of land and Rs 1.50 as plant compensation. However the JAKEDA is optimistic that the Forest Committee headed by CS will sort out the issue so that there is no further delay in establishment of solar park and the power generation capacity of State increases.
Sources said the MNRE has sanctioned Rs 20 crore for the development site for solar project at the rate of Rs 20 lakh per mw power. Once the land is allotted to the JAKEDA it will start the solar project by cleaning bushes and trees. This will be followed by calling of bids and after short listing of the bidders the lowest bidder will be allotted the site for establishment of solar project, sources said .
The proposed solar project would be developed by JAKEDA in terms of basic infrastructure and technical feasibility of grid connectivity. The land identified for the proposed solar park would essentially need cleaning the site of any vegetation (wild bushes and shrubs), its leveling in terraces for installation/ mounting of solar modules in arrays facing in the South direction, connecting the arrays in series and parallel combinations for appropriate sizing of solar power plants with the solar park, creation of power transmission infrastructure for the solar park upto nearest interconnection point with the Grid sub Station for evacuation of power so generated from the Solar Park.
The solar power developers/ independent power producers would then be invited and selected through competitive tariff based bidding for setting up of solar power plants (SPPS) in the solar park so established with an idea to augment the State’s power generating capacity.
Sources said the proposed solar park besides augmenting the power generation of the State would also provide employment for the local youth as also trigger over all economic development of the adjoining areas by way of availability of reliable power , water, road and other infrastructural facilities.
Sources said for transmission of the power from the solar park a 132 kv double ckt transmission line will be erected upto 132/66 kv, 100 MVA Grid Sub Station Samba which is approximately 15 to 20 kms from the site. Besides two new 132 kv line bays are also to be developed at Samba Grid Sub Station for the termination of the proposed 132 kv double ckt line in the Grid for evacuation of the power. In addition to this a road for the project is also to be constructed.

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network

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