A new beginning
GE Power Tuesday announced commissioning of first of-its-kind 400/200 kV Gas Insulated Power Substation (GIPS) at Magam in district Budgam. The Substation is a part of the Northern Region System Strengthening 29 (NRSS 29) project and it will help augment electricity supply in the Kashmir valley by bringing in additional 1000 MWs of power daily from Punjab.
This project termed as one of the dream projects is critical for meeting the power requirements of J&K especially during winter months as the valley suffers massive load-shedding when electricity demand rises sharply.
Pertinently, Sterlite Power has last month commissioned a new transmission line spread over 400 km from Samba in Jammu to Amargarh in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
Sterlite Power, one of India’s largest power transmission sector players, has been involved in commissioning of the 414 km long Northern Region Strengthening Scheme 29 (NRSS 29), a flagship project.
The ?3,000 crore project executed by NRSS XXIX Transmission Limited, the PSV of Sterlite Power, includes commissioning of three 400 KV Double Circuit transmission lines and one 400/220 KV GIS Substation to deliver over 1,000 MW of electricity from Punjab to the Kashmir Valley by strengthening the National Grid.
The transmission line—conceived by the government back in 2012—will improve access to power in the Valley by augmenting the State’s power transmission capacity by at least 33 per cent.
In 2014, Sterlite bagged the project quoting the lowest levelised transmission charges, outbidding Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) in the process. Post commissioning, the company will operate and maintain the transmission line for a minimum tenure of 35 years.
The line has been commissioned two months ahead of schedule despite terrain challenges, and latest machinery like helicranes were put to use in the Pir Panjal range to overcome challenges of high altitude, snow and inaccessible terrains.
Kashmir faces a severe power crisis every winter. This year the valley has projected a demand of 2200 MV’s of power during peak hours and the state has been provided with just 1300 MV’s owing to the fact that the state lacks a robust transmission mechanism.
The gap in the demand-supply puts the consumers at the receiving end as the government resorts to wide spread curtailments compounding the problems of the commoners here during the chilly days of winter.
Though much was being said by the government on improving the transmission network to the state but all these promises proved to be mere hoax.
Now if a private player has shown the way, the government needs to take it as a new beginning and projects like the 29 (NRSS 29) should be worked out so as to provide a long term solution to the power crisis in the valley.