Civil Society Questions Lopsided Power Planning

Civil Society Questions Lopsided Power Planning

9 January 2012
Greater Kashmir


Srinagar: Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS), spearheading the movement for return of power projects from NHPC, Monday held the “lopsided planning” in energy sector responsible for latest power crisis in the Valley. The civil society group said Kashmir Valley is connected to the Northern Grid through Kishenpore-Wagoora, Kishenpore-Pampore and Chenani-Srinagar transmission lines. While 400kV Kishenpore-Wagoora line having the transmission capacity of 1,000 MW is operated by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), the 220kV Kishenpore – Pampore line with transmission capacity of 400MW and 132 kV Chenani -Srinagar Line with transmission capacity of 70MW is owned and operated by the state’s Power Development Department. Although all the three lines contain dual circuits, one circuit of 132kV Chenani- Srinagar Transmission Line stands disconnected at Jawahar Tunnel for a decade now due to some technical snag and has not been restored, limiting the number of circuits to five, the group spokesman told Greater Kashmir. He said all three lines interconnecting Kashmir Valley and Northern Grid pass through same route in the snow bound and avalanche prone areas which include Pir Panchal Top over Jawaharlal Tunnel, Shaitani Nallah, Banihal, Ramban, Ramsoo etc. “This situation could have very well been avoided had our planners thought of laying these lines through different routes like Mughal Road and Chatroo-Simthan Road,” the spokesman said. The civil society group also questioned the logic in interconnecting 450 MW Baglihar Power House to Kishenpore Grid Station through 400KV line. Had this line been connected to Wagoora instead of Kishenpore, two more circuits would have been made available to Kashmir Valley besides saving on transmission losses, the KCSDS spokesman said. He said when Power of Baghliar first flows to Kishenpore and then to Wagoora, it has a net effect of increased transmission losses besides depriving Kashmir Valley of availability of two more circuits that could have proven useful during crises. The civil society group also contested the claims of preparedness by the PDD for any eventuality saying that the electricity generated and available within the valley could not be used for “lack of skill and trained staff.” “In the event of natural calamity even if complete connectivity with the Northern Grid is lost, PDD should have been prepared to run the power houses in Kashmir Valley in isolation in the Island Formation. However, for running the system in Island Formation the department needed to conduct disaster management drills in order to prepare men and machinery which unfortunately have never been done,” the spokesman said. The group questioned the reliability of PDD lines within Kashmir which are so fragile that a few inches of snow or few millimeters of rain render them useless. Talking to Greater Kashmir, Development Commissioner Power, Manzoor Ahmad Salroo said the department was not able to pool up the energy at a time from local projects because machine response was different. “We drew energy in isolation mode from Uri-I. In absence of strong grid pooling was not possible,” he said. Regarding defunct circuit of 132kV Chenani-Srinagar Transmission Line, PDD Chief Engineer, M&RE, Muhammad Muzaffar Mattoo said it was set up using gas-filled cable which would run through tunnel. “This system has now turned obsolete and was discarded long ago,” he said.