Jammu & Kashmir State government has requested the Central government allocation of APM Gas to the State to set up 500 MW gas based Power Project and CGD network in the State at par with North Eastern States.
In a letter to the Centre, the State government has mentioned that J&K has a unique topography due to which the valley faces harsh climatic condition. Due to this, the energy requirement of the state balloons in winter season. Since dependency on hydro projects there is substantial shortage of power in the state particularly in the winter season. It informed that the state has to procure power at exorbitant rates to fill this shortage. Sometimes the power supply to the state is further aggravated by failure of transmission lines across high altitudes during harsh winter conditions. In view of the peak demand, the shortage is expected to grow, if, corrective measures are not taken, the State asserted.
It stated that in view of this, it is important to reduce dependency on hydro projects and create a portfolio of alternatives that may address the problem of power supply in the State. However, the topography, climate and limited connectivity particularly in case of Kashmir valley prevents the State from adopting the other options such as coal based thermal plants. Hence, the J&K government is considering to set up a 500 MW gas based power plant which would be useful to meet any contingency such as transmission line failure and to meet peak demand during winters.
J&K officials further stated that GSPL is developing a natural gas pipeline from Bhatinda in Punjab to Jammu and Kashmir. This pipeline shall provide connectivity to various City Gas Distribution Net Works apart from providing gas to proposed power plant in the State. The capacity of Natural Gas Pipeline shall be 42.42 mmscmd with extra capacity of 10.60 mmscmd. The State mentioned that the establishment of CGD new works in the state would attract industrial investment and shall create job opportunities for unemployed youth of J&K. It will provide a boost to the economy of the State which will help in economic integration of the state with the country.
As per Natural Gas subsidy scheme notified by Central government, sale of APM Gas by OIL and ONGC to customers in North East States is being done at concessional price in order to promote commercial and Industrial activity in that region. In the letter, the State government mentioned that it is facing internal disturbance for the last more than two decades, which has given a great set back to the commercial and industrial activities in the State. Therefore, to give boost to the economic activities the state deserves to get the concession on the analogy of North Eastern States.