Connect with us

Lead Stories

Rs 100 crore PDD metering tender stuck in red-tape

Avatar

Published

🕒

on

IST

By Nisar Dharma

Srinagar, Mar 28: Headed by J&K Deputy Chief Minister, Nirmal Singh, the Power Development Department (PDD) is not serious about implementing the projects vital for improving the erratic transmission and distribution (T&D) system in the state.
In 2017, for instance, the department had asked a company to float the tenders for installation of two lakh smart meters in the state, but it never issued the Letter of Authorisation (LoA) for the project.
As such, the company, REC Power Distribution Company Limited (RECPDCL), cancelled the bid, as the government made it to look for the bidders but never officially authorised it to hire them.
The dillydallying has pushed the over Rs 100-crore project into limbo, while it was aimed at bringing “advance technology interventions” to reduce the huge T&D losses suffered by the state.
It also questions the government’s promises of achieving 100 per cent metering by 2019.
Part of the Rs 80,000-crore Prime Minister Development Package (PMDP), the project, as such, hasn’t moved beyond papers since 2015, when the package was announced by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
The PDD’s Chief Engineer (Projects), Daljeet Singh, referred this reporter to Azhar Waqil, his technical officer, who said the delay happened because “no party came forward when the tender was floated”.
Neither did the officer know the cost of the project nor of the funds received by them.
“The RECPDCL had to implement the project in the state. They floated the tenders in 2017 but hardly got any response,” he said.
An official at RECPDCL, who did not wish to be named, however, refuted this version.
The company, the official told The Kashmir Monitor, had floated the tenders in August 2017.
“The state government told us to go ahead with opening the bid and assured that they will issue the LOA to us. We did it, but the LOA never came. Many bidders were interested in the project, but how could have we hired them without being officially authorised?” the official said.
“It has been more than six months, and the tender stands officially cancelled.”
The work, as per the official, was installing one lakh smart meters each in Kashmir and Jammu regions.
“The JKPDD will undertake significant initiative in improving the extent and quality of metering and ensure 100% consumer metering and deployment of the most modern techniques by FY19…it will facilitate the utility to achieve the targeted AT&C loss level of 25% by FY19 from existing losses of 64%,” reads the tender notice issued in August 2017.
The PDD said the matter was stuck for the cabinet’s nod.
“The cabinet was supposed to approve it, but they haven’t so far. Once they approve it, we will issue the LOA,” the technical officer to PDD CE (projects) said.
The power minister or the concerned Commissioner Secretary, Hirdesh Kumar, was not available for their comments.
The smart meters project is a part of several PMDP projects worth Rs 3491.93 crore for improving the power scenario in the state.
Official documents show that the government of India released Rs 654.7 crore of the sanctioned funds till November 2017.
The state, however, has utilised nothing of the amount released, the documents reveal.
The distribution-strengthening project entailed crucial works including electrification of un-electrified villages, installing new transformers, spreading underground cables, and setting up meter testing labs and separate feeders for agriculture irrigation.
Ask the CE (Projects) JKPDD, he blames “the prevailing circumstances” and “weak response to tenders” and “other problems”.
Sources, however, said that there was more to it than meets the eye.
“The department is facing a lot of bureaucratic pressure when it comes to implementing projects in the valley,” the source said.
“We have seen cases where a bidder came forward but the entire project was shelved at the last minute by the high officials in Jammu. It also resulted in annoying the companies who now are wary of working with the state government.”

 
Advertisement
Loading...
Comments

Lead Stories

Two militants killed in Bijbehara gunfight

Avatar

Published

on

Srinagar, Apr 25: Two militants were killed after a gunfight broke out between militants and security forces in Bagender Mohalla area of Bijbehara in Anantnag district on Thursday morning.

The duo was killed after a gunfight broke out between them and a joint team of the Indian Army’s 3 Rashtriya Rifles unit and a Special Operations Group of the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

The exchange of fire began while security forces had been carrying out cordon and search operations after receiving inputs about the presence of militants in the area. An official said that the militants opened fire on the troopers when they were closing in on their hiding spot.

 

A search operation is underway as the forces believe there were three militants in hiding in Bagender Mohalla.

The police spokesman identified the slain as Safder Amin Bhat (25), son of Muhammad Amin of Zirpara Bijbehara and Burhan Ahmad Ganaie (25) of Malipora Hablish Kulgam. He said the duo was affiliated with Hizb-ul -Mujahideen militant outfit.

Incriminating material including arms and ammunition was recovered from the site of the encounter, he said, adding that the police have registered a case.

“Citizens are requested not to venture inside 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,” said the spokesman.

Thousands of people participated in funeral prayers of two slain militants in Bijbehara and SK Colony Lazibal areas of Anantnag.

Meanwhile, internet services were also suspended for “precautionary measures” and a complete shutdown is being observed in the district.

Continue Reading

Lead Stories

Ladakh Parliamentary Seat: Karbalai in fray to cut Muslim votes and benefit Congress?

Mudassir Kuloo

Published

on

Srinagar, Apr 25: Ahead of the elections for it, the Ladakh Parliamentary Seat is in the spotlight these days as Asgar Ali Karbalai, who is contesting as an Independent candidate, may play spoilsport for Sajjad Hussain who has support of the NC, PDP and powerful religious groups of Kargil.

Four candidates are in the fray for Ladakh parliamentary constituency that will go to polls on May 6.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, while Rigzin Spalbar is Congress’ candidate. Both the candidates are from Leh district. Sajjad Hussain, and Asgar Ali Karbalai are contesting as independents. Both are from Kargil district.

 

Asgar has claimed that he has left the Congress, however a source within the party said his contesting of elections is to “cut the Muslim vote in Ladakh to benefit the Congress candidate.”

“He has no support of any religious group unlike Sajjad. If he will be able to cut the Muslim vote, Congress will be the hugely benefitted,” the source said. 

It said that PDP and NC decided not to field candidates as they would have divided the Muslim votes and would have benefitted the BJP.

The PDP and NC have decided to support journalist turned politician Sajjad in the parliamentary elections. He is the candidate of Anjuman Jamiatul Ulama Islamia School Kargil (AJUISK), the largest religious organisation of the region and also backed by Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust.

“Both National Conference and PDP have unanimously decided to support Sajjad, who has been fielded by Kargil’s powerful religious organization, Islamia School,” National Conference General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, said.

Asked why the National Conference did not field its own candidate, Sagar replied, “We have several top leaders in Ladakh. But when powerful religious organizations decided to field the candidate, we decided to support him. All religious groups are on platform on his candidature. We hope that he would win the elections.”

Senior PDP leader Nizam-ud-Din Bhat too confirmed that NC and PDP have unanimously decided to support Independent candidate, Sajjad.

“We decided not to field our own candidate because this candidate has backing of two religious groups, and he represents the sentiments of people,” Bhat said.

In Kashmir, the PDP and NC have been fighting against each other as both parties have fielded their candidates against one another on all three parliamentary seats. The NC and Congress are jointly fighting the Srinagar, Jammu and Udhampur parliament seats while there is a “friendly” contest between their candidates for Baramulla and Anantnag seats.

In 2014 Thupstan Chhewang of Bharatiya Janata Party won with a margin of 36 votes. Chhewang secured 31,111 votes while Independent Ghulam Raza secured 31,075 votes. Chhewang last year resigned, citing ‘discrimination’ against Ladakh, as the reason.

Spread over Leh and Kargil districts and having four assembly segments including Kargil, Zanaskar, Nobra and Leh, Ladakh is geographically one of the largest and population-wise one of the smallest constituencies in the country. There are about 1.72 lakh eligible voters for the Ladakh seat.

Continue Reading

Lead Stories

NIA summon to Shabir Shah’s daughter shameful: Mehbooba

Hirra Azmat

Published

on

Srinagar, Apr 25: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday termed National Investigation Agency (NIA) summon to Shabir Shah’s daughter as “shameful”.

Addressing a rally at Kulgam district in south Kashmir, the PDP president while condemning the issuance of ED summon to Sama Shabir, the daughter of Hurriyat leader Shabir Ahmed Shah said, “She has been summoned in connection with case of money laundering in 2007 when she was just five years old. The harassment has increased over the years.”

She said that Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was summoned by the NIA and Yaseen Mailk faced detention and constant harassment.  “This shows the sheer desperation of centre,” she claimed.

 

She maintained, “The abrogation of Article 35-A and 370 will render the basis of accession null and void. Thus, we should strive towards safeguarding the special status.”

Mehbooba took jibes at the BJP president, Amit Shah over his statement that there is Modi wave in India.

“Had this been true, the Balakote airstrikes wouldn’t happen then?  Incidents like mob lynching and oppression on the marginalized sections wouldn’t be so commonplace,” she said.

She said while taking potshots at the NC vice-president Omar Abdullah, “Omar is living in this delusion that the people in her home town Bijebhera in Anantnag district have rejected her and voted for NC. I want to make this thing clear that it’s my hometown and people are supportive of me and are still unknown to Omar.”

Ruling out that government employees participated in her Pulwama election rally, she said, “This is completely false. No government employees participated in that rally. I have nothing to do with these employees as I am not a part of the government.” 

Continue Reading

Latest News

Latest News3 hours ago

Guv Admin says no to J&K assembly elections in June,EC may move date to Nov

Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir may not be held in June, a top government source has said, adding that...

Latest News3 hours ago

India skips BRI forum, Pakistan says CPEC to go ahead

Beijing, Apr 26: India on Friday skipped Beijing’s Belt and Road forum for a second time in protest against the...

Latest News3 hours ago

BSF trooper attempts suicide in Srinagar

SRINAGAR: A Border Security Force (BSF) trooper on Friday tried to commit suicide in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar district, police...

Latest News4 hours ago

Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi joins BJP

New Delhi: Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday. The singer joined the party...

Latest News4 hours ago

J&K govt orders transfer of three senior police officers

JAMMU: After obtaining mandatory permission from the Election Commission, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday ordered the transfer of...

Latest News4 hours ago

Article 370 must go: Baba Ramdev

New Delhi: Yoga guru Baba Ramdev on Friday supported BJP’s election manifesto and said that Article 370 must go. Article...

Latest News4 hours ago

Online helicopter booking from May 1 for Amarnath Yatra

Jammu, April 26: The online helicopter booking for the annual Amarnath Yatra will begin on May 1, according to an...

Latest News4 hours ago

Govt review service records of over 1,100 IAS officers to check ‘deadwood’

New Delhi: The service records of over 1,100 officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) have been reviewed by the...

Latest News5 hours ago

Allying with PDP was BJP’s ‘mahamilavat’ in Kashmir:PM Modi

New Delhi :Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to India Today Group editors and said that BJP’s alliance with PDP in...

Latest News5 hours ago

Anantnag, Bijbehara towns shut for second straight day

Srinagar: Anantnag and Bijbehara town in south Kashmir remained shut for the second straight day on Friday in wake of...

Subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor and receive notifications of new stories by email.

Join 966,132 other subscribers

Archives

April 2019
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  
Advertisement