STATE TIMES NEWS
LEH: After opposition protested and staged walkout in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on Saturday over power crisis and unscheduled power cuts in Kashmir and Ladakh regions, Leh started getting uninterrupted electricity from Saturday evening. Talking to STATE TIMES, Executive Engineer PDD Leh however claimed they were able to restore round the clock electricity because of recent snowfall which has resulted into increase in the flow of water in Indus river to generate sufficient power supply. He added that Leh may see curtailments in the coming days also if water in the river decreases as it all depends on the weather. However, it hasn’t snowed much in Leh which could result in the increase of water level in the Indus to a great extent, he added. To suppress the rumours that army is being provided round the clock electricity while the local populace was given electricity only for few hours in the morning and evening, the officials of NHPC and PDD engineers during a meeting convened on 14th January by Additional Deputy Commissioner informed that power curtailment was due to decrease in flow of water in Indus and Zanskar rivers leading to less power generation from Nimmo-Basgo power plants.
Congress Legislature Party leader and MLA Leh Nawang Rigzin Jora has recently raised the power crisis issue in the State Assembly, he expressed concern that despite availability of adequate power the public is forced to spend time in darkness as power is supplied only between 6 PM to 11 PM while the army is being provided uninterrupted power round the clock. “It is nobody’s case that army should not be given power, but not at the cost of local populace for whose benefit the Alchi project was commissioned. It was me, who got the project funded and commissioned under the capacity of being State’s Power Minister. The project was meant for the exclusive use of the civilians and supply to army was to be considered only after the civilian needs are met,” Jora informed Ladakhi public through social media. “Unfortunately, in trying to raise revenue, as army is the bulk buyer and pays more than twice per unit as civilians do, priority has been given to army leaving the local population in darkness,” he alleged, adding that PDD and the Ministry forget the fact that we continue to be a welfare state.
“The objective of the department is to serve its citizens first, irrespective of the revenue realised and this is not to say that civilians don’t pay their dues. Ladakhis pay their electricity dues, and on time, too. The army has DG sets as backup and resources to pay for the diesel. Therefore, these 2 – 3 winter months army must be asked to use its resources,” he urged. Jora informed that Deputy Chief Minister, who is the Power Minister, has promised to look into the matter and hoped that something shall be done in this direction. He informed that he had also spoken to Ladakh Affairs Minister for follow up. Earlier in the meeting, the ADC has announced power schedule for Leh from 7 AM in the morning till 10 AM and from 5 PM to 10 PM at night till 31st January 2017. However, it was informed that there will be no interruption in power supply as far as essential services are concerned like in SNM Hospital, etc. It was decided that this schedule will be revised after 31st January depending on the weather conditions.
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