With the announcement of Smart City for Jammu & Srinagar, there is a ray of hope that Jammu city will have better planning to optimize and use the sources like energy, water, health care and traffic systems. The IOT technologies used in Smart cities are expected to deliver online information about government development plans and the status of basic amenities like water supply, electricity, air quality as well as other resources in the city. The Smart city projects are envisaged to create a super data structure for the Citizen needs and Information pertaining to plans for improvement and efficiency in the city services. The Smart City initiative basically aims to utilize the Digital technology in the best possible innovative way, to keep citizens informed about service being offered by public service departments to make people’s life easy and happier.
J&K is the 10th largest state in the country spread over an area of 222,236 sq km with a total population of 125.50 Lac with density of 124 people per sq. km and having the percentage of literacy 70 %. (Census 2011). The main source of livelihood is Agriculture export, handicrafts, tourism and horticulture. Due to lack of infrastructure and underdeveloped industrial sector, the youth is mainly dependent on Government jobs. Even though much of the younger population has migrated to other states in search of job still a large number of educated youth getting added day by day to the unemployment exchange, rising to a worrying unemployment situation. In order to control the alarming joblessness circumstances, the need of the hour is to powerfully exploit the large infrastructure projects like Smart city, that have potential to bring plentiful investment in the state that can give a fillip to the employment by giving rise to or conceiving thousands of job opportunities.
The Power shortage is another core issue and a big barrier in the development of the state. It is a known fact that the economic development in a given region is strongly influenced by energy demand, thusly, electricity plays a central role in achieving the growth of a region. The report reveals that our state is reeling under tremendous power shortage with an estimated deficit of greater than 25 %. The study on the power Scenario in the state shows that the peak supply, demand gap during April 2016 to April 2017 was (20% ) highest among all the states in the country. If we go by the simple fact, during the same period, neighboring states, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab had a zero shortfall in comparison to our energy shortage of 3500 MUs.
As the state population is estimated to be 143 lacs in 2017, the power demand will also rise exponentially. The power experts have predicted that, J &K shall have an energy requirement of at least 21,884 MUs in 2021-22 with peak load growth crossing up to 4,217 MW against measured of 2650 MW (FY 2016). In this milieu, the power shortage issues can only be curtailed by enhancing the power Generation, and impelling the necessary augmentation in intrastate transmission systems. The state power agency is in the process to build a strong and robust distribution system by way of expanding the substations and transmission lines, to curb the losses . In conjunction with pioneer effort, the state is in the process of deploying two lac Smart meters under Prime Minister Development Package program covering Jammu & Srinagar area. The Smart meters with GPRS compatible Communication on which IT infrastructure would be utilized will have ability to check the energy balance between HV side and the LV side of any Substation to identify the losses and to provide details of defective meters on a real-time basis. As per the reports, initially one lakh meters will be installed in Jammu and one lakh in Srinagar, as and when the expected benefits are achieved the system can be extended, scalable to cover the entire 20 lac households in state to ensure 100% metering . The advantage of using Smart meter and AMI communication systems is that it will facilitate two-way communication between the utility and the consumer allowing every consumer to keep track of the unit of electricity he/she has paid for. If the proposed Smart metering system is implemented properly, it can give a big push to achieve cutback in existing AT&C losses of 64%. (FY 15-16) . The reduction in losses can put the state to a very strong pedestal in bridging the Demand & Supply gap that can turn the energy deprived state into an energy surplus state. The success of Smart Grid Programs can really make a lot of difference in improving energy conservation and demand side management in the State. One can easily underpin that successful implementation of smart grid is going to have a huge impact on containment of power shortfall and can bring a major transformation in the way we use energy unleashing a new era of development and infinite potential in the state.
The common man is really looking forward to the commencement of Smart city project, wherein a change for better can be made for everyone through e- governance and digitization for positive peace and development of the State.
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