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Rs 2208 cr provided for upgrading power infra in Kashmir: Dy CM

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JAMMU, Jan 9: Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh Tuesday said the government has provided Rs 2208.73 crore for upgrading power infrastructure in Kashmir.
“The funds have been provided for infrastructure up-gradation, strengthening and improvement of works under various centrally sponsored schemes including RAPDRP, IPDS, DDUGJY PMDP (Urban) and PMDP (Rural),” Dr Singh told the house while replying to a written question by Hakim Mohammad Yasin.
He said once the envisaged works under these schemes are completed, the power scenario would witness perceptible improvement in both urban as well as rural areas of Kashmir.
Dr Singh further informed that the existing transmission infrastructure needs to be upgraded to cater to the projected load demand of 3000 MVA at the end of 13th Five Year Plan.
“For this a Transmission Plan has been formulated for infrastructure development phasing over a period from 2016-17 to 2021-22. The capacity additions at different levels are proposed to be raised from 220/132 KV to 480 MVA, 220/33 KV to 1325 MVA and 132/33 KV to 860 MVA,” he added. He said the transmission plan is estimated to cost Rs 1850.07 crore and has been sent to Central Electricity Authority (CEA), New Delhi for vetting.
Out of this, an amount of Rs 414.00 crore has been sanctioned under PMDP and covers up-grading of power infrastructure in Srinagar district and its adjoining areas included industrial estates of Lassipora, the Dy CM added.
He further informed that construction of three GIS Grid Sub Stations Khanyar, Tailbal, Batapora, Tengpora in Srinagar and 220/33 KV GIS Grid Sub Station at Lassipora Industrial Estate has been included in Transmission Plan. He said the department has completed augmentation of Kulgam grid station from 40 to 70 MVA and Rawalpora Grid Station from 110 to 140 MVA and LJHP from 20 to 40 MVA during the current financial year.
Deputy Chief Minister also informed that an additional source of power of 630 MVA will become available with likely commissioning of 400kV D/C Jallandar-Samba-Kunzar transmission line and 630 MVA, 400/220kV Grid Station by M/s Sterlite at Kunzar Magam by the end of January 2018. He further informed the House that 220/132 kV, 320 MVA Grid Sub Station at Alusteng is scheduled to be commissioned by end of 2018.
Dr Singh said that increase in power demand due to running of agriculture pump sets and excessive use of electronic gadgets force power curtailment in Jammu province during summer. He said the demand exceeds the installed capacity of the transformers at different levels and department is forced to go for scheduled and unscheduled curtailments at receiving station/grid station levels. He said that the capacity of the existing infrastructure at all voltage levels is being increased by way of creation/augmentation under various centrally sponsored schemes like IPDS, PMDP-Urban and R-APDRP Part-B. He said the sanctioned cost of the schemes is Rs.775.710 crore.
Deputy Chief Minister informed the House that power generation falls during winter in Ladakh region, but power supply is ensured on curtailment basis through DG sets.
Dr Singh further informed the House that in Kashmir valley department has been supplying 1200 MW power during peak hours, whereas it is duty bound to provide only 700 MW power as per total consumer load-agreements. He said that this year, since the onset of winters, the department has encountered around 1900 MW of unrestricted load during peak hours though the department is duty bound to provide 700 MW power supply as per load agreements. He said that the department continues to supply around 1200 MW after enforcing curtailment schedule.
He said that in respect of Jammu Division total unrestricted demand is 1350 MWs. He said that on an average, peak load of the order of 1050-1100 MWs is being supplied while as the gap of 250 MWs is being met by implementation of curtailment programme except in industrial areas where the power is being supplied for 24 hours. He further said that in the city areas the damaged distribution transformers are replaced on same day or within 24 hours. He said in rural areas the transformers are being replaced within 2 to 3 days and in case of distribution transformers of far-flung areas and more time may be taken due to manual carriage.
Dr Singh further informed the House that as per Census 2011, the total number of un-electrified villages in Jammu and Kashmir were 102 including 26 in Kashmir region, 58 in Jammu region and 18 in Ladakh region. He said these are being covered for electrification under DDUGJY and RGGVY-II schemes, respectively.
Deputy Chief Minister said that in view of the delay in the award of the contracts for the DDUGJY scheme, and to meet the timeline set by Government of India, the department has taken up electrification of 84 un-electrified villages departmentally, while 18 other villages have been taken up by PGCIL.


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Kashmir

Govt likely to probe illegal appointments in PSUs

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Srinagar, Jun 18: The Jammu and Kashmir government is likely to probe alleged illegal appointments in various state owned corporations.

Sources close to the government said that the Governor Satya Pal Malik has taken strong note of the allegations that over the years scores of employees have been appointed illegally in the state owned corporations. “To dig out the truth in this, the Government is likely to inquire all such illegal appointments,” sources said.

Sources maintained that the government will identify all those responsible for making appointments without advertisements and vacancies in the corporations.

 

It has been alleged that maximum beneficiaries were political workers who were adjusted in different corporations without considering fallout on the financial health of the corporations.

Sources said that the government over the years has failed to probe these appointments and book the culprits.

Sources further informed that there are allegations that many of the backdoor appointees in some corporations were first appointed as consolidated and later placed in the grade pay within shortest possible time by setting all rules and regulations aside.

“Though many house committees were constituted in Jammu and Kashmir to look into the illegal and backdoor appointments made in the state government departments, public undertakings and corporations, but these committees never succeeded to probe the matter,” sources maintained.

Sources alleged that each corporation had appointed illegally over hundred blue eyed persons. There was no accountability as how these appointments were made and thereafter given two to three grade promotions.

It is also a known fact that, most of the corporations are in losses and heavily dependent on the government for paying salaries to the staff and carrying out their day today activities.

It is to mention here that the government, in order to check the menace of illegal, backdoor appointment and re-employment had issued an order, wherein all government departments, PSU’s and other organization were debarred for making temporary arrangements and the blanket ban was imposed on making illegal appointments and re-employment. It was also mentioned in the order that all the re-employment orders issued by various government departments are revoked with immediate effect. However as per the sources, the aforementioned order was not implemented in letter and spirit, rather the government departments and public sector undertakings had chosen to continue making re-employment and back door appointments.

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Medicinal plant cultivation has potential to change economic scene of JK: Skandan

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Srinagar, Jun 18: The Advisors to Governor, K Skandan, KK Sharma and K Vijay Kumar today attended one-day state level workshop on “Cultivation and Utilization of Medicinal Plants” in Jammu and Kashmir State.
The workshop titled ‘State Level Workshop on Medicinal Plants and Other Non-Timber Forest Products’ was jointly organized by Sher-e-Kashmir University of Sciences and Technology (SKUAST-K) and J&K Forest Department at SKAUST here.
Speaking on the occasion, Advisor to Governor K Skandan said medicinal plants have been used in all cultures as a source of medicine. “There is a need for making the the knowledge available to everyone and everybody should have access to this knowledge,” the Advisor told the workshop participants.
He said the dearth of knowledge on the identity and agro-technology of the plants was adding hurdles in medicinal plant cultivation. Advisor Skandan also pointed out that he always suggested the agriculture experts to develop a suitable application for farmers in local language where a lot of intervention and interaction can happen so that a farmer gets to know through the app about the modern techniques and technology. He also suggest for the creation of institutional basis where a farmer can go in person and try to avail the benefits.
“We have to come down to the level where we can easily approach the farmer in terms of technology and holistic approach to cross the hurdles for them,” he said, adding the stakeholders must focus on micro-management so that everybody can come together and can do work for the farmer community.
Meanwhile, Advisor KK Sharma, who holds Science & Technology Department, highlighted that the human society was undergoing changes and the economic part of the society was shifting towards organic and natural sources.
Advisor Sharma said that from Government’s side there is a need for convergence among different departments like agriculture department, science and technology department, forest department and agriculture universities (SKUAST) where all departments would work together.
He said that the Government and other organisations should work on the strategies on how to take the medicinal plant cultivation down to the village panchayats.
Advisor K Vijay Kumar, while addressing the workshop said that there was a need to have a possible market for farmers, ease of doing business, the establishment of regional mandis and how would a farmer sell their products if there are restrictions in place for the commercialization of certain medicinal plant varieties.
He pointed out that medicinal plants are a farmer-friendly, easy to cultivate and high end if the farmers have availability of primary processing and marketing infrastructure.
Advisor Kumar, who holds Forest, Ecology & Environment, said the focus should also be given on the incentives to potential farmers for cultivation of medicinal plants and assured market, suggesting a single platform to these farmers and one settlement for aroma and medicinal plants.
He said the medicinal plant cultivation would change the economic scene of J&K State and will greatly contribute to its economy and wealth with employment generation and livelihood.
Earlier, Vice Chancellor of SKUAST-K, Nazeer Ahmad, while giving the overview of the medicinal plants in J&K State, said medicinal plant species are gaining importance in recent years.
He also informed the workshop that 572 medical plants varieties are present in J&K of which two dozen are being used commercially for high-grade drugs while generating a lot of income and livelihood.
He also informed the workshop that there are certain species which are under tremendous pressure due to over-exploitation and are under the verge of extension.
Speaking on the occasion, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Suresh Chugh said all the stakeholders are being called and discussions were being held threadbare so that the medical plants cultivation would become a vibrant sector in J&K. He said it will eventually play an important role in economy in J&K, adding medicinal plants in the State can be exploited and are commercially viability and people can get huge economic benefits. He said forest department is developing nurseries in the state as 90 percent medicinal plants are coming from wild source and rest is from cultivated areas.
On the occasion, a dozen presentations were given by experts on the cultivation and utilization of medicinal plants in J&K.
Later, three publications titled ‘Medicinal Plants of J&K, Annual Progress Report of Ayush and ‘Agro Technology of Medicinal Plants’ was also released during the occasion.
Commissioner/Secretary of Forests, Environment & Ecology, Manoj Dwivedi, VC SKUAST-J, K S Risam, scientists, scholars, and head of faculties among others also attended the workshop.

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AAC to observe foundation day on June 20

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Srinagar, Jun 18: Awami Action Committee (AAC) will be observing its 56th foundation day on June 20th, 2019 (Thursday) at AAC headquarters Mirwaiz Manzil Rajouri Kadal.

All members of the organization will be present on the occasion.

The meeting will once again reiterate the party’s stand for resolution of Kashmir issue either through Implementation of UN resolutions or through dialogue among India Pakistan and people of entire J&K.

 

Members of the meeting will pledge to work towards this goal peacefully and also towards promoting amity and friendship between India and Pakistan for peace and prosperity in the entire region as was the dream of its founding president Shaheed e Millat Mirwaiz Molvi Muhammad Farooq.

Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman and AAC patron Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will address the gathering where the long journey of the organization, its contribution and the challenges ahead will be discussed.

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