Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said Jammu and Kashmir has the potential not only to generate electricity to meet its own needs, but also to provide power to other parts of the country.
The government is making efforts to ensure that all households in the state are electrified, as the focus is to improve the existing power distribution system, the prime minister said.
“Jammu and Kashmir has many rivers that have potential for electricity generation. This state has the potential not only to meet its own requirements, but can also produce power for the rest of the country,” he said.
“Keeping this in mind, we have been working on several projects for the past four years,” Modi said after inaugurating the 330-MW Kishanganga power project here.
He said that work on the 1,000-MW Pakal Dul power project in Kishtwar district will start soon.
“We are also making efforts to provide uninterrupted electricity supply to every household in Jammu and Kashmir, and advanced technologies such as smart meters are being used, and street lights are being modernised.
“Rs 4,000 crore is being spent on improving the power distribution network in J&K so that every village and town of the state is lit up,” he said.
The prime minister said that the government was not only working on providing electricity to households in villages of the state, but also to ensure power bills do not become a burden on these households.
“Under the Ujala scheme, we have provided over 78 lakh LED bulbs and this has saved electricity to the tune of Rs 400 crore every year. Electricity connections are being provided free of cost to households in the state that were hitherto not electrified,” Modi said.
Earlier, Union Minister of State for Power, New and Renewable Energy R K Singh said commissioning of the Kishanganga power project was a special day for the country.
“Now, we are using our rights (of power generation) under the Indus Water Treaty. It will also help us increase the generation capacity of the Uri-I and the Uri-II power projects,” the minister said.
Singh congratulated the state government for ensuring electrification of all the 134 left out villages in Jammu and Kashmir.
“We had to use helicopters at to deliver equipment at many places. We have set a deadline of electrifying all households in Jammu and Kashmir by the end of this year. According to a briefing I have got, I am confident that the state government will accomplish it by November,” he added.
Singh said the next target of the government is to provide uninterrupted power supply across the country.