Srinagar, Mar 23: Eight years have passed since the government notified the Jammu and Kashmir Electricity Act following its enactment by the Legislature and approval by the Governor, the state is still without Electricity Policy.
The Act stresses for formulation of Electricity Policy and plan for development of power system. “Last year the government announced that Electricity Policy will be framed and received suggestions from people, which were incorporated in the draft. The draft was also submitted to government but no steps have been initiated for its implementation,” an official of the Power Development Department wishing anonymity said.
“Jammu and Kashmir is in a dire need of Electricity Policy as state continues to face power crisis. Last year the government framed draft of Electricity Policy without any implementation,” the official said.
An official of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission said that the Electricity Policy is necessary to set up a target of power tariff in the next 10-years.
“There shall be a target what will be power tariff after three years and requirement of electricity to the state. The Electricity Policy would have been a roadmap for up-gradation of power infrastructure in the state and also for protection of consumer interests,” the official said.
J&K is one among the states having vast hydro power potential from where electricity is also being supplied to several parts of India. But the state on its own is suffering for want of power as it has to purchase electricity worth hundreds of crores annually from the centre-owned NHPC and other power corporations.
At the same time, the state government has failed to frame Electricity Policy that could have been a ‘road map’ how to improve the power sector.
The government of India in December last year announced an allocation of additional power of 792 MW for Jammu and Kashmir in view of higher demand in winters in the state.
However, people say that there has been no improvement in power supply in the valley. “Had there been the policy, government would know what are the measures have to be taken for upgrading, creation of power infrastructure, and overcoming power shortage during peak hours,” he said.
The policy according to the official is also necessary for generation of hydroelectricity. “Government should know how much it is going to generate electricity in the next five or 10 years,” he added.
The state has a hydroelectricity potential of 20,000 MWs of which around 3000 MWs have been identified so far with NHPC generating 2009 MWs from its seven power projects, which is almost half of the energy, the power giant generates from its projects in other states. (KNS)
JK Govt yet to get intimation on ECI teams visit
Srinagar, Jan 23: Jammu and Kashmir government is yet to get a formal intimation from the Election Commission of India of a proposed visit of a commission’s team for on spot assessment of the situation for Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state.
Official sources privy to developments on the conduct of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state told that neither the government nor the office of Chief Electoral officer has got a formal intimation from the election commission of India on the visit of a team of the commission expected to make an on spot assessment of the situation before the commission takes a call on the simultaneous conduct of Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state or the holding of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections separately.
A top government official on conditions of anonymity told, “We are yet to get both the government and the office of the chief electoral officer is yet to get any intimation on the proposed visit of a team of the election commission of India for on spot assessment of the situation before a final decision on simultaneous or separate conduct of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state.
However may be we get a call from the election commission of India on the proposed visit of its team even on January 27 as speculated in some media reports.”
Earlier, there were reports that a team of the Election Commission will soon visit Jammu and Kashmir to review the situation with political leaders and other stakeholders on polls in the state.
“A team of Election Commission will visit the state soon to have a review of situation with political leaders and other stakeholders for holding the elections,” state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar had said.
On the issue of holding of simultaneous polls, the CEO informed that his office had already taken necessary steps for holding the elections, but decision lies with the Election Commission, who would take a final call at an appropriate time after taking all aspects into consideration.
Injured Habba Kadal youth responding to treatment
Srinagar, Jan 23: The youth from Srinagar’s Habba Kadal area, who was critically injured after CRPF personnel allegedly hurled a stone at him on Tuesday, is responding to the treatment, doctors at SK Institute of Medical Sciences told The Kashmir Monitor.
Mohammad Younis, who, as per his family, had gone to fetch vegetables, suffered a skull fracture after a stone hit him during clashes in Habba Kadal.
Initially, he was taken to SMHS hospital but the doctors referred him to SKIMS as he was stated to be critical.
Medical Superintendent (MS), SKIMS Dr Farooq Jan said that Younis is being treated in the surgical observation unit of the hospital.
“Patient is okay. As of now, there is no need to worry. We are closely monitoring him,” he said.
The CRPF spokesman had claimed the youth “slipped and fell down while being chased”.
Weatherman predicts week-long dry spell in Valley
Srinagar, Jan 23: After three-day long wet spell across Kashmir, the weather on Wednesday showed improvement with local meteorological department forecasting dry weather till January 29.
The three-day-long wet spell ended across the Valley today. The MeT department had predicted improvement in the weather conditions from Tuesday evening.
The local Meteorological department told that there is no forecast of rain or snowfall across the Valley till January 29 here, saying that the weather would remain cloudy on Jan 25.
Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Baseer Ahmad Khan has issued fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of Kashmir division on Wednesday.
The warning has been issued for the avalanche prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh of J&K state.
As per a hand out, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has asked the Deputy Commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives.
The Div Com also directed the concerned DCs to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, Police and Para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident.
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