STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Union Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, R K Singh and Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu on Wednesday chaired a high level meeting at the Civil Secretariat to review the Power and Renewable Energy Scenario in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and discussed the modalities for strengthening the power sector in J&K. Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, Kewal Kumar Sharma; Union Secretary, Power, Sanjiv Nandan Sahai; Union Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Anand Kumar; Chief Secretary J&K, Sh. BVR Subrahmanyam; Financial Commissioner, Finance Department, Dr. A.K. Mehta; Principal Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor, Bipul Pathak; Principal Secretary to Government, H&UDD, Dheeraj Gupta; Secretary to the Government, Power Development, M. Raju; CMDs; Managing Directors; CEOs; Directors of various corporations of J&K & CPSUs and other senior officers from Ministry of Power and JKPDD attended the meeting. Secretary to Government, Power Development Department, M. Raju gave a detailed presentation, wherein he highlighted various achievements of the department, particularly unbundling of the Department into various corporations in order to reduce the AT&C, T&D and Power Purchase losses and to increase the Revenue realization. He also gave an insight of the steps being taken to improve the power supply position in Jammu & Kashmir so as to provide uninterrupted and reliable power supply to all. During the meeting, the Union MoS highlighted that the mission of the Union Government is to provide 24×7 power to all the districts of UT of J&K within the next two years. He said that sufficient power is available in the country but J&K needs to address the issues by putting in place sufficient Transmission and Distribution system. He further directed the concerned officers to prepare a project for capacity addition which could ensure 24×7 power to all the consumers of J&K and submit it to the Government of India.
The Union MoS directed all the Union Government officials and members of CPSUs that the sole aim of their actions should be the welfare of UT of J&K.
The J&K government was advised to request for further release of eligible funds under various CSS & PMDP schemes like Saubhagya, DDUGJY, IPDS, PMDP etc. He also assured extending project completion time of Saubhagya till June, 2020 for completion of the left over works.
The Union MoS observed that with the completion of upcoming power projects like Pakal Dul, Kiru and Kwar, J&K would become power sufficient. However, he stressed that the progress in these projects be increased so that goal of self-sufficiency is achieved in a time bound manner. The Lt. Governor also reiterated that timelines for completion of projects must not be compromised in any case.
Expressing his concern over the cost escalation in various projects like DDUGJY, IPDS and PMDP under implementation in J&K, the Union MoS emphasized on the need of careful formulation of the DPRs and considers best practices in other states while framing the DPRs.
The Lt Governor directed the department that apart from taking up new works under various schemes, the department should also focus on immediately taking-up the works for up-gradation and replacement of old and obsolete infrastructure in line with the emerging requirements.
The Union MoS, during discussion on feeder segregation, directed that agricultural pump-set system for all the farmers must be converted into solar which inturn would not only help farmers to cut the power bills but would also help them generate additional income when the setup feeds back the power to the grid.
Emphasizing on the need to switch to latest technologies in power sector, the Union MoS stated that, J&K has a unique advantage of starting afresh and this opportunity must be availed to create a state-of-the-art setup in the Union Territory. He advised establishing dedicated IT wings with professionals well-versed with the knowledge of latest technologies. He further said that Ministry of Power aims to switch to Smart prepaid meters across the country and J&K must follow the suit by installing smart prepaid meters only.
The Union MoS accepted to consider the demand of J&K for enhancement of allocated power share from the Ministry of Power through cheaper sources. J&K was accordingly asked to submit a comprehensive proposal for the consideration of Ministry of Power, Government of India.
Later, the Union MoS and the Lt Governor e-inaugurated and dedicated 10 projects of Power Development Department to the people of J&K, viz. 50 MVA Grid Station Bandipora & 132 KV D/C Badampora-Bandipora Transmission Line, Augmentation of Grid Station Sidhra (20 MVA to 70 MVA), Installation of Smart Meters at Jammu and Srinagar, 33/11 KV 10 MVA Receiving Stations, Lahori Chak, Kalayanpur, Chak Bhalwal, Pinglina under PMDP and 33/11 KV 10 MVA Receiving Stations Sher Colony, Sidiq Colony and Jetty under RAPDRP.
They also handed over the appointment letters to 13 Trainee Assistant Engineers who have been appointed by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) through a special recruitment drive for J&K.
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