The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi dedicated the 220 kV Srinagar- Alusteng – Drass- Kargil – LehTransmission System to the NationFebruary 3, a step that would ensure quality power supply to Ladakh round the year.This would give huge boost to the tourism sector and enhance socio-economic development of Ladakh.
The Prime Minister had laid the foundation stone for this project on 12 August, 2014 and within 4.5 years, the project has been completed by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID),a Navratna Company of Government of India, under Ministry of Power. While inaugurating this projects PM said, “We’ve left behind culture of delays”.
The Rs. 2266 crore project will result in minimizing the massive use of diesel generating sets during winters, and thus will help in protection of beautiful environment, of pristine Ladakh region.
About Srinagar- Alusteng – Drass- Kargil – Leh Transmission Line:
Built at a height of around 3000-4000 meters, this approx. 335 km long transmission line has been constructed byPOWERGRID.In this project, the four new State-of-the-Art 220/66 kV Gas Insulated Sub-stations built at Drass, Kargil, Khaltsi and Leh will help to ensure 24×7 quality power in all weather conditions. Funding provisions have been in the ratio of 95:05 (95% Govt. of India share and 5% J&K state share).
Benefits to the region
The implementation of this project was also aimed to supply power to the people of Ladakh in harsh winters and evacuation of surplus power of Kargil & Leh Hydel stations of NHPC in summers. It is a flagship project of Government of India, under PMRP scheme which was aimed to improve reliability & quality of power supply in Ladakh region of J&K by connecting with National Grid.
This will not only help evacuate power in summers, but will also supply power to the region in winters when temperatures dip and hydro electricity generation do not match up. The project will meet the power demand of Ladakh region at economical rates.
With quality electricity available at reasonable rates, hospitality industry in Ladakh will get a boost, as their reliance on diesel sets will reduce. This will also attract tourists looking for affordable stay in all weathers.
Challenges in execution
This herculean task executed by POWERGRID in unforeseen weather conditions was made possible by immaculate project monitoring skills, high team spirit and strategic planning and use of modern technologies. The line remains snow covered for nearly six months with the minimum temperature going down to as low as -40 degrees at Drass. Therefore, specially designed tower foundations were constructed with assistance from Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) for spotting the tower foundations, as the work force braved the challenge of working at lesser oxygen levels. It shall also provide grid connectivity and reliable quality power supply to the strategically important Ladakh region including defence establishments in the area.