India: Kashmir's move towards solar

Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah and India’s Minister for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Farooq Abdullah inaugurated the installation today. This is the second of such events being graced by the ministers in the last two days. Yesterday, a plant at the Old Assembly Complex in Srinagar was inaugurated.

At a high level meeting yesterday with renewable energy players, both ministers met to review the renewable energy programs under implementation in the Jammu Kashmir state. Secretary, Science and Technology, Muhammad Ashraf Bukhari presented that the MNRE has sanctioned solar power for 69 health installations with a total capacity of 1.09 megawatts (MW). MNRE has also sanctioned more than 50,000 solar home lighting systems for more than 200 unelectrified villages in the state.

Jammu and Kashmir lies in a disputed region where India, Pakistan and China claim territorial rights. Farooq Abdullah said that the main goal of the schemes under MNRE is to reach out people for energy supply in the areas where there is no power supply or transmission lines are in the process of installation.

Omar Abdullah stated that the installation of transmission lines to deliver power from the projects are as crucial as the development of photovoltaic power plants. Omar Abdullah also requested that the MNRE be actively involved in helping universities in the region to install solar systems at their campuses.

Farooq Abdullah asserted that the state’s Science and Technology Department had to enforce a well-planned monitoring and inspection system to validate the status of the schemes that have been launched thus far.