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Upgrading power infra: Govt gives company 3-month ultimatum to improve

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, July 18: After missing multiple deadlines, the government has threatened to terminate the contract for power infrastructure upgrading provided to Kolkata-based EMC.

The EMC, which was given the contract in May 2014 at the cost of around Rs 800 crore, has been given three months to show progress.

The project was first to be completed by March 2016.

 

It was to upgrade the power infrastructure including installation of mini transformers and laying of insulated cabling to prevent power thefts.

However, in the last over four year, only 20 percent work has been completed by the company.

“The company has missed several deadlines so far despite the project completion period ended in March 2018. The government of India has now extended the completion period to 2019,” an official of the PDD said.

The official said that company has sought three months times to restart the work. “The company is facing financial constraints. It has sought the loan from a bank. The company has assured that it will restart the work only if it gets loan from the bank,” the official said.

So far the official said that company’s performance has been “unsatisfactory”.

“We have already imposed Rs 42 on the company. There is also Rs 200 crore bank guarantee and will be forfeited if it fails to complete the works,” the official said.

It was allotted project for installation of mini transformers and lying of cables in Srinagar, Tral, Ganderbal, Budgam, and Pulwama.

The works are to be carried out under the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Program (RAPDRP) to reduce the transmission and distribution losses.

The union government has directed the JK government to improve revenue recovery and check the pilferage, a major cause of T&D losses.

The J&K has around 50-percent Aggravate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) and Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses, highest in the country.

A report submitted by the Abraham Committee headed by P Abraham had slammed the Power Development Department of JK that it had not made “any serious effort to reduce the loss levels”.

The report has said that main reasons for high AT&D losses were absence of up gradation of old lines and equipment, poor repair and maintenance of equipment,  non-installation of sufficient capacitors, theft & pilferage and tampering of meters, low accountability of employees etc.

Chief Engineer, Projects PDD, Naseer Ahmad said the government has raised the issue with the company.

“It has been given month period then everything will be clear,” he added.


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Tribunal serves notice to Jamaat-e-Islami

Press Trust of India

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Srinagar, Apr 19: The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal, constituted by the Centre, has issued a show cause notice to Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu Kashmir (JeI), which was banned by the government in February, asking it why the organisation cannot be declared as an unlawful association.

“A notice is hereby given under sub-section (2) of Section 4 of the Act (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) and you are hereby called upon to show cause, within 30 days from the date of service of this notice, as to why your Association, declared as unlawful, be not adjudicated to be so and why an order confirming such declaration be not made under Section 4(3) of the Act,” said the notice issued by Registrar, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal, Lorren Bamniyal, to the JeI.

 

The notice was issued on April 5.

The Tribunal asked the Jamaat to file objections or reply affidavits, if any, before the next date of hearing of the Tribunal at the office of the Registrar.

“In case the objections/reply and the documents are in regional language, true English translation thereof be also attached. You may appear through a duly authorised person before the Tribunal on 20 May, 2019 at 3 PM in Court Room number 26 for further proceedings,” the notice said.

The Centre had constituted the tribunal headed by a Delhi High Court judge to decide whether there is sufficient cause for declaring the JeI as an unlawful association.

The Ministry of Home Affairs on March 23 had issued a notification which states that Justice Mukta Gupta would head the tribunal set up under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The government in its February 28 notification had banned the JeI, saying it was of the opinion that the Jamaat is “in close touch with militant outfits” and is supporting “extremism and militancy” in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere.

It said the outfit claims “secession of a part of the Indian territory from the Union” and supporting terrorist and separatist groups fighting for this purpose.

The action came following the February 14 attack in Pulwama that killed over 40 CRPF personnel.

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Two militants killed in Rafiabad gunfight:Reports

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Srinagar, Apr 19: Multiple gunshots were heard in Malpora Watergam area of Rafiabad in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Friday evening.

Sources said that at around 8:55 pm, unknown persons fired a volley of bullets in paddy fields in Malpora Watergam village of Rafiabad.

Sources said that a joint team of Army’s 32RR and Jammu and Kashmir Police’s SOG cordoned off the area in Malpora Watergam after credible inputs about presence of militants.

 

They said that as the forces laid the siege, gunshots were heard from the area.

SP Sopore Javid Iqbal said that “we are verifying the incident.”

He said that a cordon has been launched in the area.

Unconfirmed reports at the time of filing this report said that two militants were killed during the gunfight that ensued soon after.

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Budgam: NC worker of 4 decades stays away from polls

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Apr 18: Outside a two-storey Government Girls Higher Secondary High School in Ichigam village of Budgam, a man donning a chequered pheran loudly quipped at every person entering the polling booth to cast his or her vote on Thursday.

He argued with them over the performance of their elected leaders in the past as agents of political parties tried hard to convince him to cast his vote or stay away from others who wanted to.

Ghulam Hassan, in his 60s, has been an avid supporter of National Conference (NC) at Ichigam for the last 40 years.   

 

Having worked hard over the years to lure voters for NC, Hassan, Thursday, was one among those who sidelined from the party and preferred not to vote.

He said the previous regimes failed to develop his area due to which he had decided to boycott and also not to “befool” people in this Lok Sabha election.

“It was the only option available with me. I have been supporting the party (NC) ever since I became eligible to caste vote. But it didn’t benefit me nor people of my area,” he said.

Hassan, who as per locals, would often engage himself in heated arguments with political rivals during elections, was dejected over the state of roads and growing unemployment in his village.

“I have two sons, who are sitting idle at home. Many students here have completed their higher studies and haven’t got a job. These politicians appear only during elections and forget their promises once they are elected,” he said.

Hassan said the idea of boycotting the election was way better than living with a hope of some relief from the politicians.

“Under these circumstances, it is better that you vote for a candidate who is trustworthy. But we are short of such candidates,” he said.

When agents attempted “tricking” him by saying his vote would secure Article 370 and 35-A, he replied, “Many among you have voted and let us see how your vote will benefit Kashmir,” he said.

Few metres away in another polling booth in Ichigam, Ghulam Muhammad Dar voiced similar concerns but said he voted after trusting the candidate for one last time.

“I have been casting my vote for the last 50 years and have seen how these politicians befool people. But this is going to be my last vote if the candidate didn’t work for the development and safeguarding special position of Kashmir,” he said.

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