September 2019 News

Govt. To Boost Electricity In Kashmir To Generate Goodwill

18 September 2019
The Hindu
Peerzada Ashiq

Srinagar: Electricity will be a new tool to win the goodwill of the people in the Kashmir valley. For the first time ever, the Union government is embarking on a mega exercise to make electricity available day and night during the harsh winter period this year. Union Minister of State for Power, R. K. Singh, said that multiple Central agencies dealing directly with generation and transmission will ensure that electricity supply for the upcoming winter period is 'far better than the previous year'. 'We have made necessary augmentation to see that the power scenario is far better than the previous year. I hope to meet the objective. We will be visiting again in the peak winter months of December and January to see for ourselves how this goal has been achieved,' Mr. Singh said. Governor Satya Pal Malik praised the Centre's move to provide 'round-the-clock electricity this winter'. Kashmir witnesses 6-8 hour power outages during winters, as generation dips due to harsh winter conditions and demand crosses 11,000 megawatts. The Centre is pushing for multiple projects worth Rs 10,000 crore in Jammu and Kashmir to meet the demand. The Union Minister said that Jammu and Kashmir are well endowed with water resources, and when harnessed 'will start exporting electricity that will boost per capital income here'. 'We have offered all support in this direction,' he added. The Minister inaugurated 15 projects and laid the foundation for 20 others under different Centrally-sponsored schemes in Srinagar. Under a scheme, 1 lakh LED (light-emitting diode) street lights will be installed in Srinagar city, saving Rs 29 crore annually to the Srinagar Municipal Corporation. Hirdesh Kumar, Secretary, J&K Power Development Department, said 29 shrines in the Valley and 20 in Ladakh have seen upgradation of lighting systems. 'Underground cabling is underway in the tourist hotspots of Sonamarg, Gulmarg and Pahalgam. The boulevard around the Dal Lake has been installed with heritage lights,' he added. Referring to the development agenda, Governor Malik said this is the way to win back Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). 'Many leaders are talking about taking back PoK forcibly. I am of the opinion that if the people of Jammu and Kashmir are respected, students are held in dignity, across the country, their future is secured, and there is a renewed focus on the State's prosperity, the people of PoK on their own will opt for India on watching the development on this side. There will be no need to have a war,' he said. He added that the Anti-Corruption Bureau is probing a Rs 25,000 crore scam in the Roshni Scheme - a scheme where land ownership was granted to occupants to generate money for power projects.