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JK looking to tap solar power to end power crisis economically

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Jan 26: The “burden” of power purchasing has prompted the government to “diversify” the solar power sector in the state to meet the electricity requirement.
In the last six-years, Jammu and Kashmir has spent over Rs 28,000 crore on power purchase, mostly from the centre-owned National Hydro Electricity Power Corporation (NHPC).
At the same time, there has been around 50 per cent revenue generation gap over the years
During 2011-2012, Rs 3,761.52 crore was spent on power purchase, which went up to Rs 4,103 in 2012-2013.
About Rs 4,471 crore were spent in 2013-2014 on power purchase, while Rs 5,153 crore, Rs 5,293 crore and Rs 5,524 crore were spent in 2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017, respectively.
The state has spent such a huge amount on power purchase despite having a huge potential of hydroelectricity.
Official documents reveal that the government would “diversify the solar power sector” of the state.
Deputy Commissioners of all 22 districts of the state have been told to identify suitable land for the purpose.
“Projects with minimum 10 MW capacity of the solar power projects are economically viable, for which 400 kanal of land having full sun shine are required,” the documents read.
An official of the Power Development Department said the state has decided to explore the solar power sector in view of “huge burden” of the power purchase on the state exchequer.
JK has second highest potential of solar power in India. As per the study conducted by the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), J&K has a solar power potential of 111.05 GWp, the second highest in India after Rajasthan, which has the potential of 142 GWp. However, JK failed to explore solar power over the years.
“The increasing burden of power purchase on state exchequer has prompted the government to generate solar power,” the official said.
He said the state government is spending huge amount of money on power purchases despite having estimated 20,000 megawatts hydro power potential, of which around 3000 megawatts are being generated.
The NHPC is generating around 2,000 MWs from its power projects, which is almost half of the energy, the power giant generates from its projects in other states.
The J&K gets a share of just 13 per cent from the electricity that NHPC generates in the state. The rest is being supplied to various parts of India.


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Lead Stories

Reorganization of JK: Legislative Council abolished after 62 years

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Oct 17:  Curtains came down on 62-year-old Legislative Council after Jammu and Kashmir government issued formal orders for its abolition and asked 116-member staff to report to General Administration Department.

The order was issued on Wednesday night, less than a fortnight before the state is divided into two union territories –Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh.

 

Jammu and Kashmir will be a union territory with Legislative Assembly. Ladakh will be a union territory without legislature.

According to the order, the 116-member staff of the council has been asked to report to the General Administration Department (GAD) by October 22.

The Centre had on August 5 abrogated the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

In his order, Secretary of GAD Farooq Ahmad Lone directed transfer of all vehicles purchased from time to time to the director state motor garages and handing over of the building of the council along with furniture and electronic gadgets to the director estates.

The 36-member state council was established in 1957 after an act was passed by the Parliament. The council functioned was an upper house for the 87-member state assembly.

“Consequent to the abolition of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council in terms of Section 57 of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019, it is ordered that all the staff of the state legislative council shall report to the GAD by October 22,” the order said.

All records pertaining to the Council Secretariat including related legislative business shall be transferred to the Department of Law, Justice Parliamentary Affairs by the secretary, the order added.

Earlier in February this year, the State Administrative Council (SAC) under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved taking up the matter with the Election Commission of India (ECI) regarding the proposal for holding of elections to vacant seats in the J&K Legislative Council.

Explaining importance of the Legislative Council, former Congress MLC GN Monga said the members would discuss important issues in the Legislative Council.

“Like Raj Sabha, Jammu and Kashmir had the Upper House which was called Legislative Council. This House would pass important bills, discuss yearly budget then pass it. Its members would raise public issue and were trying to resolve them,” said Monga.

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Centre kicks off process to attract private investment in JK

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Oct 17: Centre has formally kicked off the process to attract the private investment in Jammu and Kashmir.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the details of government’s policy to attract more investments in Jammu and Kashmir would be available very soon.

 “We have started working in terms of making sure that the full potential of Jammu and Kashmir from various different aspects (is achieved)”, she said.

 

Sitharaman made the comments while responding to a question during an interactive session with investors at the IMF headquarters. The event was organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and US India Strategic and Partnership Forum.

The minister listed out the investment possibilities Jammu and Kashmir carries in different sectors like tourism, fine arts, handicrafts, wood work, carpets, silk, production of saffron and apple.

“I think sooner the details of it (new policy) will be available,” she said.

On August 5, Centre scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

In his address to the nation after revoking the special status, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said state companies as well as private companies will be encouraged to create jobs for the local youth in the region.

“So very many things are all being put together to see how best a plan can be done, “Sitharaman said.

Sooner, some kind of pattern would be worked out between the union home ministry and finance ministry and announced.

Work is on, she said, while responding to a question from a Dubai-based investor who is trying to mobilise funds to invest in Jammu and Kashmir.

“I want to know from your perspective, after the change in this state, is there any special consideration being given to a State that has historically missed out on global and international investments?” she was asked.

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History will take note of those who ridiculed abrogation of Art 370: PM

Press Trust of India

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Beed, Oct 17: Hitting out at Opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said history will have a mention of those who ridiculed the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

“History will take note of every person who ridiculed the abrogation of Article 370. We removed Article 370 for the country, and not for politics. Whenever Article 370 is discussed in the future, every person who’s made fun of the decision, who has stood against and challenged it, would be discussed,” Modi said while addressing an election rally at Parli in Maharashtra’s Beed district.

 Prime Minister was addressing first of his three rallies in the state that goes to polls in October 21. His other two rallies are in Satara and Pune later in the day. Pankaja Munde, minister in state cabinet and daughter of late party leader Gopinath Munde, is locked in a tough fight from Parli against her cousin Dhananjay, who is contesting on a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ticket.

 

 “A Congress leader had said this decision will destroy the country.  Three months have passed, has the country been destroyed? Another Congress leader said that we’ve lost Kashmir by abrogating Article 370, have we lost Kashmir? If you want to go to Kashmir let me know, I’ll make arrangements,” he said.

Urging voters to punish the Congress for it ‘misdoings’, he said: “The country can see through their scams and their fake remarks now. The country will punish them for their misdoings when the time comes, but Maharashtra has got the first opportunity to do it.”

Pitching for the re-election of the Sena-BJP combine in the state, Prime Minister said: “Today, if the whole state is behind the BJP-Shiv Sena government, it is because of the hard work we have put in in the last five years. On one side, there is the work-ethic of the current government, and on the other is the selfishness of the Congress-NCP leaders.”

Rajnath accuses Congress of internationalising Kashmir issue

Press Trust of India

Bawani Khera, Oct 17: Lambasting Congress, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday accused the party of internationalising the Kashmir issue.

Addressing a poll rally, Rajnath said Kashmir is an internal matter.

Defence minister said a Congress leader recently met Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in London and held a discussion on the issue of alleged human rights violations in Kashmir.       

“I want to ask Congress leaders where human rights violations are taking place. Human rights violations were taking place when terrorist activities were occurring (in Kashmir). Why did not you speak at that time?” he asked the Congress.       

“I want a reply from the Congress. Kashmir is our internal matter. Will there be a discussion on it in other countries… Will you be discussing Kashmir matter in other countries?” Rajnath asked.

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