Expert Talk: Power supply

Mar 01, 2019

Ghulam Ahmad Mir, Superintending Engineer EM&RE CIRCLE, PDD: The primary responsibility of the Power Development Department of the J&K is transmission and distribution of power received from different sources. The department arranges the supply, transmits and forwards down to the last consumer, arranges power from various sources, thus, and recovers electricity charges. 

Earlier, we were entirely dependent on diesel generating set for power supply in almost every area for a few hours in the evening.  Later, PDD and JKSPDC came up with some small hydroelectric projects like 4MW Stakna HEP, 3 MW Igoo-Martselang HEP and also some small projects Like Sumur, Hunder, and Basgo. With all these projects, some areas got power supply during summers but in winters we again had to shift to diesel generators.
NHPC constructed Nimoo-Bazgo power project of 45 MW and 6 No, 66/11 KV Substations coupled with 66KV, 11KV and LT network came up under a centrally sponsored scheme (RGGVY) Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana and Leh and adjoining areas were connected to this Hydel project. From the project, we are supplying power to this limited area but again in winter, the available power from the hydel project is not sufficient owing to harsh weather.

On February 3, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated the 220 KV Srinagar-Leh transmission systems. With this, there will be sufficient power available from the northern grid, mainly when the requirement is more in winter and less in summer, so after commissioning of the system, we will be able to address this problem. After commissioning of the 220 KV line we are drawing some power, but the amount of power being drawn is not adequate.  So the general public is requested to cooperate with the department. Despite the reduction in discharge in the river, peak hour demand of electricity met during winter is of the order of 26 MW while the peak demand during summer is only 16 to 17 MW. We hope that by next year the technical issues related to the allocation of power will be sorted out and the gap between the demand and supply shall be met from the grid.

Power is generated from somewhere and it is transmitted accordingly at a different level of voltages and finally supplied to the consumers. So everything is designed for a certain amount of usage.  If a consumer requirement is more than the agreement load, whether it is domestic or commercial, one must declare the amount of power required to the department. The department will then accordingly arrange for that quantity of load. There has to be a balance between both parties. The electrical network is designed for a certain amount of power and cannot be overloaded beyond its capacity.

There are two types of consumers, metered consumers, and unmetered consumers. Both have different tariff. Suppose a domestic consumer has an unmetered agreement of 1 KW than he has to pay a fixed amount or ₹ 460 Plus ED per month, but consumer having the same agreement and has a meter, he has to pay only a fixed amount of ₹ 5.50 per KW plus actual charges plus ED. 

There might be people who are using electricity illegally.  To check on it, our inspection teams conduct surprise checking and impose fine and disconnect lines.  Such people are penalized as per the law and confiscate the appliances.

There are several centrally sponsored schemes for the improvement of electrical infrastructures in rural and urban areas such as Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS), Restructured- Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (RAPDRP), Prime Minister Development Plan (PMDP) Rural/Urban. These works stand allotted to the contractors last years and the work will resume as soon as the National highway opens.
The department also intends to install prepaid energy meters soon. It is like recharging the prepaid mobile. We have a floating population who stays for 3 to 4 months so in that case, they can recharge for that much time only. Besides that, the department may also, have the benefit. Generally, the consumer has to wait for the electricity bill to reach their place many times the consumers do not get their bills on time because we have a shortage of manpower. So such problems will be addressed with these meters. 

The consumer in case of any problem regarding electricity bills can approach the Assistant Executive Engineer in his offices and if it does not resolve the problem than the consumer can approach the senior officers as well.
Since the financial year is almost approaching, I would request everybody to clear their electricity dues and help the department in serving better.


•    Use electricity judiciously it is not free. 
•    All category of the consumer must declare their power Demand so that adequate infrastructure can be developed. 
•    Consumers must use the energy as per the sanctioned load.

Prit Pal Singh Wilkh, General Manager, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, Leh: Nimoo Bazgo Power Station, Alchi was conceived by Government of India and funded under Prime Minister's Reconstruction Plan for J&K in 2004 to improve acute power shortage and dependency on polluting DG sets. 

The foundation stone was laid by the then Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh on 11 June 2015. Nimoo Bazgo Power Station, Alchi is a Run of the River Scheme with a small load to harness the hydropower potential of river Indus in Leh District of Jammu & Kashmir.

The power station has an installed Capacity of 45 megawatts (3X15MW). The state of Jammu & Kashmir is the sole beneficiary of this power station. The power station was inaugurated by the Honorable Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi on 12 August 2014. Power Station has been synchronized with the Northern Grid successfully on 1 February 2019.

During summer the power station can run at its full capacity throughout the day. However, due to favourable climatic conditions, the demand for power in summers is less and hence generation is done as per the demand and excess water is spilled from the dam. During winter, due to very low river discharge, the power station runs as per the water availability. However, the demand for power exceeds the generation in winter. 

Nimoo Bazgo Power Station, Alchi faces the same technical challenges that are being faced by all the Hydroelectric Power Station in the country. Run of the River Hydroelectric Power Station is generally more or less seasonal in nature. The availability of water varies throughout the year. Shortage of water specifically during winter limits generating capacity of the power station. 

The requirement of power varies between 4 to 16 MW in the summer while it shoots up to 10 to 27 MW in the winter. With the availability of the Grid now instead of spilling the excess water, the same shall be utilized for producing electricity. 

The Nimoo Bazgo Power Station will supply the electricity to the Grid which will be further distributed to various locations. However, any shortage of power can be met by drawing power through Grid. The fact is that whenever the load abnormally increases or decreases on a particular feeder, the whole system gets destabilized and tripped. The 24X7 availability will depend upon the power demand pattern of the region and grid stability. 

Power Station will be able to fully utilize the discharge of river Indus for generation of power.  Nimoo Bazgo Power Station was envisaged to reduce the dependency of the region on DG Sets and provide power supply to some extent till operationalization of the Grid. The Power Supply scenario has improved dramatically with NHPC commencing its operations in Leh. 

Earlier power was available only for a few hours during the evening and was fed through Diesel Generators, which not only provided expensive power but also polluted the environment. It is also necessary to understand that Hydro Power Station is designed according to the availability of river discharge. As long as the availability of water is concerned, the primary source of water in the Indus River is glaciers. So during winter when the temperature drops, water in the river reduces drastically which is beyond anybody’s control. An effort was made to make the lives of the population of Leh lot easier and comfortable. 

However, there are many reasons that are beyond the control of anybody which sometimes hampers electricity supply.


•    With the availability of the Grid now instead of spilling the excess water, the same shall be utilized for producing electricity.
•    The departments working to generate electricity must do the work collectively and uniformly to overcome electricity problems.