Oppn blames Deputy CM for crises in power sector

Jammu: Noisy scenes were witnessed in the state Assembly over the power crises in the state. The Opposition parties including National Conference (NC) and Congress blamed deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Power Development, Dr Nirmal Singh for the power crises that has gripped the state.

Congress MLA from Leh, Nawang Rinzing Jora asked the house to stop providing power to the forces as it will decrease the extra load the system is having to bear.

National Conference leader Davindra Rana said that the PDP-BJP coalition government has failed in past three years to bring any improvement in the power sector.

However, the Deputy Chief Minister pacifying the agitated members said that the government has sought the Centre’s clearance for a Rs 1850.57 crore transmission upgradation plan that seeks to cater to the projected load of 3,000 MVA.

Replying to a question of Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen Shah in State Assembly during question hour, Singh said the transmission plan has been sent to Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for approval.

Of the Rs 1,850.57 crore, Rs 414 crore has been earmarked under PMDP and covers upgradation of power infrastructure in Srinagar district, its adjoining areas and industrial estates of Lasipura.

This includes construction of three grid sub-stations in Srinagar and another at Lasipura.

The department has completed augmentation of Kulgam grid station, he said.

An additional source of power of 630 MVA will become available with commissioning of 400 KV Jallandhar-Samba-Kunzar transmission line, and 630 MVA grid station by Sterlite Company at Kunzar by January-end.

In Jammu, new grids are proposed instead of old and existing ones thereby directly stepping down the voltage.

In order to avoid overloading problems of the power infrastructure so as to improve power supply, system upgradation and strengthening have been sanctioned under various central schemes amounting to Rs 2,408.73 crore.

Once the envisaged works under these schemes are completed, power supply shall considerably improve both in urban and rural areas, he added.

However, the opposition members from the National Conference and Congress staged a walkout in protest against worsening power scenario in the state.

The opposition members sought reply from the deputy chief minister and protested against the government for its failure to ensure uninterrupted power supply.

Several NC and Congress members walked into the well of the House and some of them tore question papers and threw these at the well, seeking time to pose supplementary questions to the deputy chief minister, who also holds the charge of the power ministry.

Around a dozen legislators asked supplementary questions to the deputy chief minister.

Speaker Kavinder Gupta tried to intervene by asking members that only three supplementary questions can be asked for a single question.

Minister Rehman Veeri also intervened and asked the members to allow the deputy chief minister to reply to their supplementary questions.

The deputy chief minister said that the scarcity of power was a result of 70 years of bad planning. He held the previous governments responsible and added that the present dispensation was trying to fix the problem.

His remarks drew angry retort from NC legislators including Devender Rana and Congress MLAs Nawang Rigzin Jora and G M saroori.

“The deputy chief minister is heading the department for the past three years but has done nothing on the ground,” Saroori said.

“There will be better power supply in 2018,” the deputy chief minister responded.

Later, NC and Congress members Majid Larmi, Waqer Rasool, Ishfaq Jabbar and Altaf Kallo staged a walkout from the House after they were not allowed by the Speaker to pose supplementary questions.

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