Stating that Jammu and Kashmir could not exploit its full hydropower potential, Governor N N Vohra on Sunday said that out of 20,000 mega watts hydro-electricity potential, state is generating just over 3000 MWs which is a cause of concern.
“Unfortunately state could not achieve the full potential of hydro power generation. Though state has a potential to generate 20,000 MWs of electricity but it generates only 3000 MWs which is not helping state’s finances,” Vohra remarked after inaugurating the first harvest of the high density plantation of apples at the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology-K.
“The estimated hydro power potential of the state is 20,000 megawatts (MW), of which about 16475 MW have been identified. This comprises 11283 MW in Chenab basin, 3084 MW in Jhelum basin 500 MW in Ravi basin & 1608 MW in Indus basin. Out of the identified potential, only 3263.46MW i.e. 20% (of identified potential) has been exploited until now which comprises 1211.96 MW in State sector, 2009 MW in central sector and 42.5 MW in private sector,” according to economic survey report.
Vohra while pitching for the introduction of the high density crops, stated that besides increasing production there is also need to have an advanced planning in marketing and post production utilization of the fruits.
“We are talking about increasing production, but with increase in production there will be challenges in the market which needs to be addressed. They can be addressed through robust advanced planning,” he said adding that scientists should also work on introducing high-density almond, walnut, and pear crops.
He urged the officials of SKUAST, horticulture department to maintain close coordination with farmers, associations and entrepreneurs for quick redressed of issues confronted by them.
Advisor to Governor Khurshid Ganai said with introduction of high density plantation, it is expected that our fruit production will increase by 5 times, which means more income for the growers,” he said adding that there is need to introducing high plantation in other crops also.
“There has to be capacity building and transformation of technology from lab to field. It is the role of the government department allied with horticulture,” Ganai said adding that private entrepreneurs in horticulture sector are also coming forward which is a sign of encouragement.
Vice chancellor, SKUAST-K, Professor Nazeer Ahmad said that by 2050 Kashmir will export fruits worth Rs 40000 to 50000 crore as the demand at the national level will increase manifold. Currently Kashmir contributes 70 percent of the apple requirement in the country. Of around 25 lakh tonnes apple Kashmir supplies 17 lakh tonnes which has to be increased in coming years.
Manzoor Ahmad Lone, Secretary horticulture gave a detailed presentation about the initiatives taken by the Department and those soon to be announced for benefiting farmers and uplifting the horticulture sector.
Prof. M.Y. Zargar, Director Research, SKUAST-K, presented the welcome address and Prof. Mushtaq Ahmad, Director Extension, SKUAST-K presented a vote of thanks.