Basharat Ahmad Dhar_Jammu & Kashmir_ProjectsMonitor

Basharat Ahmad Dhar_Jammu & Kashmir_ProjectsMonitor— Basharat Ahmad Dhar, Managing Director, Jammu & Kashmir State Power Development Corporation Ltd

Jammu & Kashmir State Power Development Corporation Ltd was incorporated in February 1995 to harness the estimated hydro potential of 20,000 MW out of which projects of about 16,200 MW capacity have already been identified. Basharat Ahmad Dhar spoke to Jibran Buchh on the power scenario in J&K and the corporation’s plans to harness the hydropower in the state.

To begin with, can you briefly talk about JKSPDCL?
J&K has great potential i.e. approximately 20,000 MW and it is likely to grow. We might have lost some time harnessing some potential. But we are on track and now different strategies are being put up by the state government that includes EPC mode, IPP mode, and even joint ventures. Three joint ventures have already been signed between JKSPDCL and NHPC Ltd. On IPP mode, the state government has come up with a specific policy.

The Ratle hydropower project with GVK Group is taking place on base price bidding. Apart from this I am glad to inform you that we have tendered out 18 project accumulating 245 MW. The RfQ has been sanctioned for phase-I of the five projects. In case of the remaining 13 projects, the date of technical and financial bids was August 18, 2012. We will take a decision for rest of the projects in two to three months. Allotment of these 18 projects has been identified in two segments with the first two phases to be in IPP mode.

Basically, we are looking at a mix of all possible options to harness the potential as soon as possible.

Phase-II of Baglihar dam project will be financed by J&K Bank and Power Finance Corporation Ltd. Can you tell us more about it?
Well, there is a standard norm that most of the companies and organisations follow wherein 30 per cent is invested by the developer and 70 per cent is invested by banking organisations. Now in case of the Baglihar project we, in JKSPDCL, faced certain problems; the financial closure took six years which delayed the project. The project was supposed to be completed in 2004 but financial closure was achieved in 2006.

But this time we are well prepared. About 3,000-crore plus is the cost of the project out of which 2,100 crore will come from Power finance Corporation Ltd and J&K Bank wherein J&K Bank will invest Rs. 500 crore and the rest of the money will come from PFC Ltd. But, unlike Baglihar-I, there won’t be any delay in Baglihar- II and it will be operational by 2015.

How do you plan to counter the high T&D losses in J&K?
We are a power generating company, so I won’t be able to shed light on the issue of T&D losses. I believe that the Power Development Department is working on this issue. For historical reasons, there has been delay on this account. Our losses have been pretty high. I believe that the power department has gone in for unbundling of transmission now. Hopefully, this will be accounted for. Also, the policy decision of 100 per cent metering is being implemented rapidly everywhere.

JKSPDCL_ProjectsMonitorHow is the human resources situation in JKSPDCL?
JKSPDCL was largely dependent on people who were coming on deputation from the state departments like the Power Development Department from where the electric engineers came. Then even the civil engineers were brought in from other departments.

Now the requirement of staff has gone up so high because almost 3,000 MW projects are being unfolded and a number of projects allotted every month. So now the JKSPDCL board has decided to have its own cadre of accounts staff, geologists, mechanical staff, and those who belong to core discipline. For these the selection process has commenced.

Meanwhile, we are also continuing to get people on deputation basis so that there is no shortage of staff.

R-APDRP schemes were brought in to reduce T&D losses, but the response hasn’t been good enough.
The scheme was brought in by different agencies. Basically, there were projects which were half completed but were riddled with law and order problems and then they were handed over to JKSPDCL; some of the projects in peaceful areas of J&K were handed over to NHPC.

As far as our part is concerned, there was a lack of response which demobilised the contracts. But now the situation has changed, the contracts have come back. We have extended the line till March 2013.

What is the status of projects under NHPC?
There have been some huge slippages. There were projects which they were supposed to complete in 10 years i.e. by 2010, but the delays have taken place beyond the usual. There are issues which needed to be taken care of in case of hydropower projects.

JKSPDCL also has joint ventures with NHPC in projects like the 1,000- MW Pakal Dal hydropower project. But again, there have been some huge delays; the DPR also remains incomplete which they attribute to law and order and other issues, but the delay has acceded reasonably more than the expected time. There are two other projects in Leh-Nimmo-Bazgo and Chutak—Chutak has already been commissioned and Nimmo-Bazgo will be commissioned by the end of this year.

Do you have a roadmap for next 10 years?
In next 10 years, the state will see significant changes in its power scenario. We may be a surplus state too. We are in talks with NHPC, our JV partner, for a training institute of national level dedicated for hydropower academics called National Level Hydro Training Institute. The land for this institute is ready at Kangan. The MoU has been sent to the government and things are speeding up.

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