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Govt actively pursuing transfer of power projects: Dy CM

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Jammu, Jan 22: Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh on Monday asserted that the State Government is actively pursuing the transfer of power projects as it is an important part of the developmental agenda of the present coalition government.

Replying to separate written questions of legislators, M Y Tarigami, Vikar Rasool and Krishan Lal in the Legislative Assembly, the Deputy Chief Minister said that the Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb Drabu in his Power Budget in the year 2015-16, has clearly mentioned that the Government would actively pursue transfer of hydropower projects from NHPC and that year’s budget provided funds for meeting the operational and maintenance cost of such power projects to be transferred.

He said in March 2016, he along with Finance Minister met the Union Power Minister formally and impressed upon the Union Government the need for transfer of power projects of Dulhasti and Uri from NHPC to the State among other important issues of power sector. “Subsequently, this has been raised in various Power Ministers’ Conferences by me,” said the Dy Chief Minister.

 

Dr Nirmal Singh said that presently there is no agreement or MoU available with the State government on the terms and conditions under which Dul Hasti power Project was executed by NHPC. He said in the year 2011 a Cabinet Sub-committee was constituted to look into it and the Committee could not find any agreement or MoU. In this regard the Committee recommended constituting a Task Force of senior officers of the State to look into the circumstances leading to the misplacement of these records. Accordingly, a Task Force under the chairmanship of Administrative Secretary General Administration Department with three Additional Secretaries from PDD, GAD and Governor’s Secretariat was formed. As recorded by the Task Force, the relevant records were found missing from all the concerned offices. The task force concluded that the Cabinet decision was un-traceable and that there was not any possibility of its retrieval as the records were around four decades old and no handing over/taking over of records had taken place.

Listing the reasons forcing power cuts in peak Winters and summer seasons in Kashmir and Jammu, the Deputy

Chief Minister said  against registered 3101 MW load , the demand should not exceed 1551 MW, but it is around 2950 MW (un-restricted) that reflecting that there exists  huge unregistered load.   He said the use of unauthorized load creates system constraints by way of overloading the system at Transmission, Sub-Transmission  and at distribution levels, thereby causing further distress cuts in addition to the scheduled cuts. He said because JKPDD has sufficient capacity available at all transmission levels, viz-a-vis total load registered, it makes sufficient power available for its consumers as per their contract demand. He said various centrally sponsored schemes have been launched to meet the future load growth and to improve the power supply qualitatively and quantitatively.

 Listing flagship schemes launched to overcome chronic problems at various levels, the Dy Chief Minister informed that Re-structured Accelerated Developmental Programme (R-APDRP) has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs 151.99 crore under part-A and Rs. 1665.27 crore under part-B to strengthen, upgrade and renovate sub-transmission and distribution network, adoption of IT application for meter reader, billing and energy accounting, in 30 identified towns of the state, including 17 of Kashmir division, 11 of Jammu division and 2 of Ladakh region. He said the revised PMRRP envisages achieving 24×7 power for all by 2019 and ensuring physical autonomy of J&K for a new era of development.

Elaborating further, he said DDUGJY has been launched with the objective for separation of agriculture and non-agriculture feeder, strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution, infrastructure in rural areas, including metering at distribution transformer, feeder and consumers end. He further informed that the scheme also included rural electrification for completion of left over RGGVY plans by subsuming these in DDUGJY. He said DPRs have been prepared for 21 districts, including 10 of Jammu division, 9 of Kashmir division and 2 of Ladakh region, for which GoI has approved an amount of Rs. 616.59 crore.

He said Centre has also launched Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) for strengthening sub-transmission and distribution network in 86 towns of the State at a cost of Rs 404.50 crore. Meanwhile, he said RGGY-II (RE-DDUGY) has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 101.28 crore for three districts of Ramban, Kishtwar and Doda.


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3 militants killed in Baramulla gunfight

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Srinagar, Jan 23: Three militants were killed in an encounter between militants and government forces at Binner village of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Wednesday.

Quoting official sources said that three militants had been killed while searches were still underway.

The slain trio was affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba militants. “They were identified as Shoaib Akhoon of Khanpora, Mosin Mushtaq of Qazihamam and Nissar Darzi of Jamia Mohalla Old Town,” the news agency quoted an anonymous army officer saying.

 

Earlier, SSP Baramulla Imtiyaz Hussain also confirmed the exchange of firing between militants and joint team of police and other government forces in the area.

A police spokesman said based on a credible input about the presence of militants in Binner, forces launched a cordon and search operation in the area.“As the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by the militants. The fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight,” the spokesman said.

“In the ensuing encounter, three militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. Their identities and affiliations are being ascertained,” he said.

“Incriminating material including arms and ammunition was recovered from the site of encounter. Police have registered a case and initiated investigation in the matter,” he added.

“Citizens are requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials if any,” the spokesman said.

 

Six militants buried after multiple funerals

Srinagar, Jan 23: Thousands of people on Wednesday participated in the multiple funerals of six militants, including the brother of an IPS officer, in Shopian and Pulwama districts in south Kashmir.

Three Hizbul Mujahideen militants–Shamsul Haq Mengnoo son of Mohammad Rafiq of Dragad Shopian, Aamir Suhail Bhat son of Abdul Aziz of Chidipora Chitragam Shopian, Shoaib Ahmad Shah son of Ghulam Rasool of Shermal Shopian–were killed in a gunfight with government forces in Shirmal area of Zainapora, Wednesday.

Shamsul Haq had left studies at Bachelors of Unani Medicine and Surgery (BUMS) at government college here in Zakura campus and joined militant ranks in May last year. His elder brother, Inam-ul Haq, is a 2012-batch IPS officer and presently posted in North East.

Eyewitnesses said that a large number of people participated in funeral prayers of the slain militants at their respective villages.
At Chidipora, there were minor clashes between government forces and youth. The government forces fired few rounds in air but there were no reports about any injury to anyone.

Apart from them, funeral prayers were also offered for three militants of Al-Badr militant outfit— Sabzar Ahmad son of Ali Mohammad Mir of Lassipora Pulwama, Syed Rabani son of Mohammad Hussain of Nazneenpora Shopian and Towseef Ahmad Itoo son of Abdul Aziz of Nowpora Payeen Pulwama. The trio from were killed in a gunfight Hapatnar area in Budgam on Monday.

At Shoaib’s and Syed Rabani’s funerals at Shermal and Nazneenpora Shopian, some militants appeared and offered gun salutes to the slain, reports said.

Reports said that multiple funerals were offered to the slain. Later the slain were laid to rest at their respective native places. A spontaneous shutdown continued on the second consecutive day in Shopian and Pulwama to mourn the killings. Shops and other business establishments are closed while traffic was off the road in the twin districts where internet also remained suspended by the authorities. (GNS)

 

Srinagar grenade attacks:Six arrests made so far: DGP

Srinagar, Jan 23: Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh Wednesday said that six persons have been arrested so far in connection with the recent grenade attacks in summer capital, Srinagar.

Singh was quoted saying so by news agency Kashmir News Service, that “one person was arrested with the help of Delhi police.”

“Militants were planning to hurl more grenades in public places, but the police successfully busted their module,” he told the news agency.

About the January 26 function, the DGP said all the preparations have been done in Srinagar and other districts of the valley. “Militant organisations are hell-bent to disrupt January 26 function. They have been making such attempts in the past as well by throwing grenades to discourage and pressurize people,” he was quoted saying.

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R-Day event: Frisking intensified, traffic diversions in city from today

Kashmir News Service

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Srinagar, Jan 23: The security has been beefed up across Kashmir valley especially in the summer capital Srinagar in view of the Republic Day (January 26) functioned to be held here. All the entry and exit points under close security vigil while some important roads suspended for vehicular movement.
ADGP Law and Order Muneer Ahmed Khan told KNS that the security arrangements have been finalised for the Republic Day function. “We have made all the arrangements and only the drill is to be followed,” he said.
Asked in wake of the grenade attacks if there is a security concern, Khan said all the necessary arrangements have been done and full-proof security apparatus is in place. “All important entry and exit points across the city are manned by security forces and other security equipments,” he said.
Meanwhile, the traffic police has suspended traffic on some key city roads causing inconvenience to people.
The City Traffic Police said that due to security reasons the traffic movement from Sonawar upto Ram Munshi Bagh Road stretch including Dalgate-Ram Munshi Bagh, Radio Kashmir-Ram Munshi Bagh & Gupkar-Ram Munshi Bagh will remain suspended on 24th and 26th of January-2019 from early morning hours upto 1400 hours.
The motorists intending to travel from South Kashmir-Pantha Chowk towards City Centre shall adopt Bypass road stretch and vice versa. Similarly the motorists intending to travel South Kashmir from City Centre and Down Town areas shall adopt Batamaloo-Tengpora-Bypass or Rambagh-Natipora road stretch to reach Pantha Chowk. Any inconvenience caused is highly regretted.

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POLL TACTICS: Parties resort to rhetoric, rejig undone manifestos

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Jan 23: With J&K administration gearing up for the elections, the political parties in the state have again resorted to their age-old technique: use unaccomplished manifestos with a new twist to woo the voters.

Before 2014, PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti would visit militants’ families.

In their manifesto then, the party promised that if brought to power, it would initiate dialogue with Pakistan and Hurriyat, and also demand an end to the killings in Kashmir.

 

The PDP was highly vocal then about revocation of the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

Mehbooba, during her election campaign in 2014, once said the people of Kashmir will never sell their conscience to support the BJP.

But then she allied with the same party and at one point in time during 2016 uprising tried to justify civilian killings with her infamous ‘toffee or milk remark’.

Fast forward to 2019 and we see Mehbooba trying to weave the same story: visiting militant families, calling for Indo-Pak dialogue, talks with the separatist groups and end to civilian killings.

Recently, she even said that PDP would seek return of power projects, something her party’s manifesto read in 2014 as well.

Ask PDP Chief Spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir, he says their stand about dialogue ‘has not changed’. “Whether in or out of power, our stand is clear. Talks shall be held with Pakistan and Hurriyat to find a peaceful solution to Kashmir,” Mir told The Kashmir Monitor.

Mir said it was during Mufti Sayeed’s tenure “when peace returned to the valley”.

“We even formed the government with the BJP based on an agenda. Unfortunately, it could not finish its term,” he said.

Mehbooba Mufti played to the gallery when scores of civilians were killed during the National Conference-Congress government in 2010.

In 2016, National Conference (NC) leader, Omar Abdullah, returned her the favour.

Take NC as a case in point. Its repeated promise of the restoration of Autonomy is yet again being glossed up and presented to Kashmir electorate these days.

Party president, Farooq Abdullah recently urged Government of India (GoI) to invite Hurriyat and Pakistan for talks and asserted that if voted to power, his government, on very first day, would set up Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to probe the killings in the state.

General Secretary of the NC, Ali Mohammad Sagar, said restoration of Autonomy has always been the party’s agenda.

“We always advocate for talks with Pakistan and Hurriyat. The AFSPA has to be revoked and security forces have to be pulled out from civilian areas,” Sagar said.

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