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Petition over transmission line: Power Company holds presser to present counter argument in sub-judice matter

Srinagar: WITH STORY- Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sterlite Power Ved Mani Tiwari addressing a press conference, in Srinagar on Thursday Oct 18, 2018. The power transmission capacity for Kashmir valley, which faces acute electricity shortage especially in the winter months, has now increased by 70 per cent with the commissioning of the 414-km-long Northern Region Strengthening Scheme (NRSS) by Sterlite Power. PTI Photo by Umar Ganie

Srinagar, Oct 18: After a petition was filed in the High Court, Sterlite Power, the company laying 414-kilometre transmission line over Pir Panjal, airlifted a group of journalists to the project site to present its defence.

A lawyer has filed a Public Interest Litigation in the court, arguing that “a lot of trees” were cut down for carrying the transmission line—year 2014-commissioned NRSS 19 costing Rs 3,000 crore—over the mountain range.

On Wednesday, the company arranged a chopper ride for a group of journalists to the Pir Panjal, aiming to demonstrate its defence against the petition being heard by the court.

In a presser held subsequently on Thursday in The Grand Lalit here, the Chief Executive Officer of the non-local company, Ved Mani Tiwari, told the media: “We are a responsible company. No employee or

any contractor has worked outside the law.”

He said the project has been completed as per the parameters of the law.

“Not a single tree has been cut beyond that. We always respect the social values. We do work only when there is a positive impact,” he said, choosing not to elaborate further on the “sub-judice” matter.

“We will reply all the concerns in the court,” said Tiwari, flanked by the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Sanjay Johari.

A separate petition has been filed before the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) about the line being “hazardous to human health”. The petition demands compensation to the affected villagers.

Tiwari said, “We did no violation of compensation in any case. We did a lot of research to ensure there are no health effects. We laid the line on the advice of experts with all safety measures.”

The company, he said, deployed helicranes in the mountain range to overcome the challenges of high altitude, snow, and inaccessible terrain.

“Proper planning has been done to ensure the line can sustain the elements during harsh winters in the valley,” he said.

The NRSS 29 is going to be an alternative to the existing transmission line that passes over the Srinagar-Jammu highway and suffers disruptions in winters.

According to Sterlite Power, the line would increase the power transmission capacity by over 70%.

“The 414 kms long transmission line will ensure reliable access to power for the valley.”

“The current union government had designed this project in order to provide reliable power to the valley by building this alternate line.

The evacuation of 1,000 MW shall play a vital role in addressing the power deficit in the region, especially during the winter months. Lot of credit must go to the people of J&K, local administration and the

Union Government towards early completion of this project.”

Tiwari said the company has provided employment to the people of the state.

“We want to execute more projects in the state,” he said.

The presser concluded with the company gifting car speakers to the media persons in attendance.