Jammu & Kashmir

JK Admin sets power deal with Rajasthan, to sell electricity for 40 years; politicians react

A view of a high voltage power transmission line in Kashmir. [FPK Photo / Umar Farooq]

Srinagar: Despite Kashmir’s electricity scarcity, the Jammu and Kashmir administration, led by Manoj Sinha, has decided to enter a 40-year power deal with Rajasthan, triggering accusations of depleting the region’s resources despite its chronic power deficiency.

Ratle Hydro Electric Power Corporation Limited (RHPCL), a joint venture company of NHPC Limited and Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC), has entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Rajasthan Urja Vikas and IT Services Limited, for offtake of power generated from 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Project, Kishtwar.

The agreement has been signed for offtake of power for a period of 40 years from the Commercial Operation Date (COD) of the project and as per power allocation to be notified by Ministry of Power, Government of India.

The PPA was signed in Jaipur on January 3, 2024 in the presence of senior officers of RHPCL and Rajasthan Urja Vikas and IT Services Limited.

Meanwhile, the political parties have questioned the administration’s decision, pointing out that JK is itself facing a “severe power crisis”.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti said that supplying electricity to Rajasthan from the Ratle Project would “rob” the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“At a time when J&K is facing a severe power crisis never witnessed before our hydro electric resources are being outsourced to other states. Yet another decision that will rob people of basic amenities with an intention to collectively punish the inhabitants of J&K,” the PDP chief posted on X.

Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari said the decision to lease out electricity to Rajasthan was puzzling.

“At a time when the entire Jammu and Kashmir is facing an acute electricity crisis, especially in its rural areas, the reported leasing out of electricity from Rattle Power Project Kishtwar to Rajasthan is quite puzzling,” Bukhari said in a post on X.

He said the JK administration should come clear on the facts.

“The J&K administration has off and on come on record claiming that it has been buying the power supply from other states to meet the demands in the Union Territory, while at the same time leasing out its own supply to another state is beyond comprehension. Urge the J&K admin to come clear on the facts,” Bukhari’s post added.

Pertinently, Kashmir is grappling with an unprecedented power crisis, leaving residents and industries in the region reeling.

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