Ruckus in assembly over power crisis in Kashmir

Ruckus in assembly over power crisis in Kashmir
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Power schemes in limbo as tenders cancelled, government reveals

Jammu: Legislators created a ruckus in the state assembly on Tuesday over the power crisis in Kashmir Valley, which the government described as having been there for the past 70 years. The outrage was also caused by the government’s reply to questions on various Government of India-funded electricity schemes and power projects in Jammu & Kashmir.
“You had talked about return of power projects in your agenda of alliance but we see Delhi saying no and you in Kashmir claiming that the power projects will be returned,” Independent MLA Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen, who represents Khan Sahib constituency, asked the government.
PDP MLA from Rafiabad, Yawar Mir, asked if schemes like RAPDRP, IPDS, and DDUGJY were being implemented in the state, as “there was no improvement in power sector since these projects were announced”.
“People in my constituency are facing immense problems because of water scarcity. They have been continuously complaining about it, but the government is not addressing the issue,” Mir said.
He also asked if any MoU (memorandum of understanding) was signed with any company or PSU (public sector unit) for implementation of these schemes.
Admitting that there were problems in implementation of various power projects, Minister for Power, Nirmal Singh, told the House that work on these power schemes will be taken up properly and “with good speed” in 2018.
“This power problem is there for 70 years,” Singh told the House, which infuriated Opposition members who stood up from their seats.
“You are in government for three years and answer us for what you did,” NC’s Devender Singh Rana said. “The Governor has vindicated that your government has failed in administration.”
Singh told the House that the PDD (power development department) was tasked to take up these schemes in at least nine districts but tenders had to be cancelled. “There was some issue in the process,” he said, without giving any details.
“The PMO (prime minister’s office) had to intervene and our deliberations with central PSUs are in final stage,” Singh said about new contracts. “The PMO has directed the CPSUs to take these projects at genuine rates and there will be re-tendering on good rates now,” he said.
In its written reply to MLA Yaseen’s question, the government said it had sought GoI’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 another question, the power minister said that the transmission plan has been sent to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for approval.
Of the Rs 1,850.57 crore plan, Rs 414 crore has been earmarked under PMDP (prime minister’s development package) and covers upgradation of power infrastructure in Srinagar district, its adjoining areas and industrial estates of Lasipura, Singh said. “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.
Singh said that an additional source 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 order to avoid overloading of the power infrastructure, system upgradation and strengthening have been sanctioned under various central schemes amounting to Rs 2,408.73 crore, Singh said.