Jammu, Jul 15 (PTI) Giving a major push to strengthen the electricity sector in Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday inaugurated 35 power projects worth Rs 44.14 crore, augmenting the overall capacity in the Jammu division by 367 megavolt ampere (MVA).
On the occasion, the lieutenant governor (L-G) also launched several e-services of power development department, including the new provision for submitting application for getting a new electricity connection through online mode.
Further, people can avail facilities of online bill payment, online complaint redressal, online security deposit calculation, besides using the online customer portal for their convenience, he said.
Reiterating the UT government's mission of eliminating the past practices of delays in execution of projects, Sinha said the current administration is working on the principle of accountable and responsive governance and is committed to ensuring time-bound completion of developmental projects to ease the life of citizens.
'Decade-long overdue upgradation of power infrastructure is being done in a sustained manner. We are eliminating the legacy of delays. Languishing projects hanging for long are being completed in record times,' he added.
Electricity has been considered as a basic human need and hence, it has been given priority in policy making and economy management. In spite of the ever-growing demand for power and availability of immense natural sources for energy generation in J&K, the infrastructure was not augmented in a way commensurate to meeting the demand, he added.
'I want to assure all the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir that the administration is continuously working towards your needs and a long-term strategy is being implemented on the ground to ensure 20-22 hours of continuous electricity like other parts of the country,' the L-G said.
He said that the capacity augmentation of the Barn Grid station which is being inaugurated on Thursday should have been done in 2012 itself because in the same year, it was targeted that the capacity of this grid station would be increased to 480 MVA by installing additional capacity of 160 MVA.
Now, this important power project has been completed in record 119 days despite the COVID-19 pandemic which has been hanging for nine years, he added.
This project will immensely benefit the remote areas of Poonch, Rajouri, Akhnoor, Jourian, Reasi and the adjoining areas of Jammu, Sinha said.
'These are the reforms the UT government has brought in the work culture in J&K. I would like to congratulate all the officers and engineers of the power department for this,' he added.
There is another example of Sawalkot project which was planned to be built in 1984. It was expected that 1,856 megawatt (MW) of electricity would be generated from this project, but that also remained like a dream, he said.
This project was hanging for 36 years, which has been given the green signal this year, the lieutenant governor said.
'I am deeply grateful to Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and Home Minister (Amit Shah), whose priority is to make the lives of the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir better,' Sinha said.
He termed augmentation of the power grid stations imperative to meet the increasing power demand. The Gladini Grid station whose capacity was upgraded on Thursday had been long awaiting its capacity augmentation, Sinha added.
Draba-Chandak transmission line, which was hanging since 2014, was also completed to further strengthen the power distribution system.
This itself speaks about the approach of the UT government towards strengthening the power sector in the region, he added.
Outlining the efforts made by the government to meet the aspirations of the people, the lieutenant governor said that during the past 11 months, 'we have made ground-breaking reforms to fulfil the expectations of the people with full zeal'.
'Moving away from the old system, we have executed 35 power projects today, which also include many transmission and distribution projects, thus strengthening the system and management capacity of the entire Jammu division,' said Sinha.
He observed that pre-emptive winter preparedness was done in Kashmir which yielded favourable results due to the tireless and hard work of all the engineers and officials of the department and despite heavy snow, 'we are able to provide more electricity in the region'.
In Jammu also, the preparation was well made in advance for the summers but unfortunately, the general public had to suffer a lot, he said. 'I assure you that the power distribution system of Jammu division will be strengthened to its full potential so that in future, the people do not have to face any inconvenience,' he added.
He said clear-cut instructions have already been passed to the power department to work on war footing in ensuring the uninterrupted power supply. Besides, several meetings were held with experts during March-April in Jammu to improve the power supply system using the latest technologies. Despite all these efforts, many reasons have been identified for the problems present in the current system, and they are also being resolved, he said.
'I hope and believe that with the help of experts and engineers, we will be able to build a strong power supply system in Jammu and Kashmir in the coming times,' said the lieutenant governor.
Mentioning about the deliberations made during the recent review meeting of the power department, Sinha observed that a provision has been suggested for incentivising the field staff for their good work, besides taking strict action against those who are negligent. PTI AB HRS hrs