Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

If Only Capabilities Would Match Dreams

Imagine a Public Sector Undertaking, considered among the most corrupt by the Transparency International (TI), promises to deliver 3,000 MW of power in the next five years. A small hitch overlooked, it only generated 3 MW of new power in last 5 years

3 MWs in Past 5 Yrs: PDC Wants to Produce 3000 in Next 5 Yrs

Nazir Ganaie (Kashmir Observer)

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (PDC), which for past five years has generated only 3 MW of power, Monday announced that it would generate 3000 MW in next five years.

The announcement was made by the Managing Director JKSPDC Basharat Ahmad Dhar. Dhar conceded that since its establishment the JKSPDC has not performed well. He cited many reasons for the dismal performance of the JKSPDC including lack of finances. “But now things have changed. More than 40 hydropower projects having 8298 MW capacity are coming up in J&K in next 10 years, both in the state and central sector,” Dhar said.

“Projects 3231.85 MW capacities are targeted during 12th five year plan out of which 1230.85 MWs projects are in state sector and 659 MWs projects are in the central sector. The Corporation is actively involved in implementation of 600 MW Kiru, 500 MW Kawar and 1000 MW Pokal Dul in joint venture with NHPC and PTC.” He said the interests of the State are being watched and safeguarded by the Corporation in this regard. He said the generation sector is a panacea for the economic stability of the State and the JKSPDC management is completely focused on capacity addition through construction of new projects,” Dhar said at a press conference here.

Dhar along with Principal Secretary, Power, Jammu and Kashmir government Sudhanshu Pandey and President India TECH Foundation (ITF) was briefing the media about 2-day International Hydropower Convention commencing from tomorrow here. “We have a target of 3000 MW power generation during 12th five year plan.” Dhar said. Pandey too made significant announcement during the briefing. He said state does not need counter guarantee from government of India for foreign investment in the power sector. “It (counter guarantee) is no longer required. It was a must in the past, but now scenario has changed,” Pandey said.

It is for the first time the Power Ministry of the State Government has come up with such a declaration. Earlier the State Government had to shelve 340 MW Kishanganga Project and 1200 MW Sawlakote power projects as the Centre Government refused to provide counter guarantees. “We have received nine bids for New Ganderbal project,” said Pandey. “Hydropower is really a very important sector to support the country for various ways. This is really going to benefit the state as well as all the stakeholders working together for harnessing the major areas of hydropower sectors in the this state,” Pandey said. He hoped that this endeavor would provide sufficient information about the latest trends in hydro power development as well as the hydro power potential in the State and would also enthuse the developers to take up harnessing the J&K’s hydro power potential of over 20,000 MWs. He said a national level hydro-training institute was coming up at Ganderbal in joint venture with the NHPC. He also said the purpose of holding the convention here was to highlight J&K’s strategy and initiatives taken to harness State’s hydro power resources. He said renowned power experts, developers, business companies from all over the world are attending the convention to deliberate on harnessing energy in the Himalayan region with special focus on J&K. Earlier Dhar said for setting up of 450-MWs Baglihar-II Jammu and Kashmir Bank and Power Trading Corporation have provided Rs 2000 crore financing. “This is for the first time that the financial institutions have not asked for mortgaging of our assets,” Dhar said.

President India Tech foundation Inder Mohan said as per Central Electricity Regulatory estimates, J&K has 25000 MW potential. “Only 10 percent of it is being harnessed. The process needs to be speeded up,” Mohan said. “We had a detailed meeting with the chief Minister Omar Abdullah in this regard last year when and he too was of the view as far as the hydropower is concerned. Besides that more and more hydro-electricity needed to be generated for the benefit of the state, the people living there and for the country’s benefit,” he added. Mohan reveled the Jammu and Kashmir state has the potential of producing 20,0000 MGW hydropower but quoting official records that only 10 per cent of it have been made utilized. “There is a great need to harness the maximum hydropower as soon as possible that is the only reason we have organized this kind of convention to address the various matters related to harness hydropower from this state,” Mohan said. He said that his organization (ITF) has been organizing such type of conventions for emphasizing on the need of the harnessing more and more hydro power rich areas in the county.

“Electricity is vital for the any prosperous economy and the need of the hour is to exploit these rich areas for the larger benefit,” Mohan said. “J&K has the potential of producing nearly 25,000 MGW- of which less than 10 per cent is being harnessed. Therefore it has provided us a major opportunity to tap this potential,” Mohan added.

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