With mercury crossing new heights this summer the electricity demand is likely to go up from the set target of 4,217 MW by 2021-22 in the State and as work on the majority of the proposed hydropower projects is stalled, the ambitious plan of the government to provide 24X7 power supply remains a political rhetoric. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the initiative to electrify 18,452 villages in 1,000 days – by May 2018 a deadline which has expired without meeting the envisaged target. But when it comes to total electrification of Jammu and Kashmir targets are yet far off and much more is expected from the agencies involved in power distribution. The Rural Electrification Plan 2012-17, envisaged to achieve provision of access to electricity to all households, quality and reliable power supply at reasonable rates and minimum lifeline consumption of one unit per household per day as a merit good. The process to make JK supply power 24×7 was set in motion, when Government in June 2016 signed 24×7 “Power For All” (PFA) document aimed at providing round the clock power supply to people of the State. Along with Jammu and Kashmir, the PFA documents were signed by Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh and three Union Territories including Delhi, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli. Out of 103 un-electrified villages, 73 number shall be electrified from grid source whereas 30 others, located in Ladakh region, shall be electrified through non-grid sources. Electrification of inaccessible villages will be done through Stand Alone systems and non-conventional sources. In the entire J&K, there are total 15 such hamlets in Poonch district, which will be electrified through non-grid sources under the project funded by Union Ministry of Non-Conventional and Renewable Energy (MNRE). The central scheme Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) envisages 100 per cent electrification of entire rural India. It is not a small project considering the population and the area of the country. Obviously, Jammu and Kashmir, being one of the States of the Union, also comes within the purview of the scheme. But as it happens, even this scheme that has immense relevance to the development of the State is also fallen a victim of official apathy and lack of interest.
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