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Posted at: Nov 20, 2019, 6:52 AM; last updated: Nov 20, 2019, 6:52 AM (IST)

J&K fails to achieve solar energy generation target

J&K fails to achieve solar energy generation target

Dinesh Manhotra

Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 19

Even five years after the signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Union Government on generating 7,500 mw solar power energy, the authorities have failed to achieve the target in this regard.

In March 2014, the then NC-Congress government of Omar Abdullah had signed the MoU with the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, for the implementation of solar power projects of the capacity of 7,500 mw, but on ground, nothing has been done so far.

Under the MoU, solar projects of the capacity of 5,000 MW in Ladakh and 2,500 mw in Kargil, possessing tremendous potential for new and renewable energy, was to be taken up for implementation. Similarly, it was also part of the MoU to set up solar panels in all technical institutes across J&K.

After the signing of the MoU in the year 2014, the then Power Minister of the erstwhile state of J&K, Vikar Rasool Wani, had announced within a year’s time solar power plants would be set up in all ITIs of J&K within a maximum time of one year, for which Rs 32.20 crore would be spent to provide 24-hour power supply to these technical institutions.

Although no senior officer was ready to come on record to reveal reasons about the failure the J&K Government to achieve the target, sources said those at the helm of affairs had adopted a casual approach.

The erstwhile state of J&K, comprising Ladakh, had solar power potential of 111.05 gw and it was the second highest in the country after Rajasthan, which has the solar energy potential of 142 gw. The solar power capacity of the country recently crossed the milestone of 5,000 mw, with Rajasthan topping the list with the total commissioned capacity of 1264.35 mw, followed by Gujarat with 1024.15 mw. J&K does not figure in the list where the states have grid-connected solar power projects as it has failed to generate energy through solar power plants.

In July 2014, the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, in its maiden budget, had announced to take up four ultra mega solar power projects, including one in the Ladakh region. An amount of Rs 500 crore was also set aside for these projects.

Sources said due to the casual approach, the previous PDP-BJP government could not take benefits of the Centre’s proposal due to the internal conflict between the two erstwhile coalition partners.

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