The people living in Keran and Mundian, located on the LoC, in Kupawara district of Jammu & Kashmir are brimming with new energy. Their evenings are no longer dictated by a few hours of dodgy electricity supply from diesel generators as the area was linked to the grid on July 18, 73 years after Independence.
The lights of Keran and Mundian today shine as a symbol of the Centre’s push to improve power infrastructure and supply since J&K was carved out as a Union Territory a year ago. It is pumping Rs 3,500 crore into upgrading and expanding transmission and distribution infrastructure. Another financial package of Rs 4,580 crore is in the works to infuse liquidity in the utilities.
According to power ministry data, 33 sub-stations, 745 new distribution terminals have been built under Central schemes in the year since the UT was created. Besides, 48 km of feeders were separated, 2,020 km of distribution lines and 356 km of aerial bunched/underground cables were laid to cut line losses and improve supply during this period to ensure 24X7 supply.
But the most interesting makeover perhaps is the installation of energy-efficient LED street lights under Street Lighting National Programme, similar to what is seen elsewhere in the country. Energy Efficiency Services Ltd under the ministry, has installed some 1.2 lakh LED street lights, split almost equally between Jammu and Srinagar, under an agreement with J&K power and urban development departments.
This single initiative alone has saved Rs 57 crore in power bills for municipalities, leaving more funds for health and sanitation. The LED scheme is also estimated to have resulted in energy saving of 81 million units, avoided peak demand of 13.63 MW and reduced CO2 emission of 56,345 tonne.