*Un-electrified villages remain victims of JAKEDA slackness
JAMMU, June 24: Nume-rous un-electrified villages have yet not come out of the darkness despite enough financial support from the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy as Jammu and Kashmir Energy Develop-ment Agency (JAKEDA) has failed to provide full benefit of Rs 45 crore worth schemes to the people during the past three years.
Under Remote Village Electrification Programme of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the State Power Development Department provides list of the un-electrified villages and hamlets of the State to JAKEDA for onward submission to the Ministry, which forwards these lists to the Rural Electrification Corporation of Government of India.
The Rural Electrification Corporation segregates the villages/hamlets in two categories—villages/hamlets to be taken under Remote Village Electrification Programme by the MNRE and villages/hemlets to be taken under RGGVP Programme of the Ministry of Power. Accordingly, MNRE forwards the list of villages/hamlets to be taken under RVE Programme to the State Nodal Agencies for preparation of the project proposals for providing of basic lighting facilities.
During the Financial Year 2012-13, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy sanctioned three projects for implementation in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Ministry vide order dated March 28, 2013 sanctioned 2841 Solar Home Lighting Systems and 155 Solar Street Lights for 11 un-electrified villages of the State involving cost of Rs 288.77 lakh.
Similarly, the Ministry vide order dated September 9, 2013 sanctioned 31642 Solar Home Lighting Systems and 2253 Street Light Systems for 25 un-electrified villages and 263 hamlets of the State involving cost of Rs 3311.25 lakh. Moreover, vide order dated February 13, 2013, the Ministry sanctioned 10,000 Solar Home Lighting Systems for various villages in Kishtwar constituency at a project cost of Rs 1100 lakh envisaging Central Financial Assistance of Rs 917.08 lakh.
The supply orders of Solar Home Lighting Systems were placed in October 2014 and the systems were procured in full at a cost of Rs 4261.92 lakh. Similarly, the supply orders of Solar Street Lights were placed in February 2016, nearly three years after the accord of sanction by the Union Ministry.
However, the Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA) has failed to meet the targets of distribution of Solar Home Lighting Systems and Solar Street Lights, which is evident from the official data available with EXCELSIOR.
As against target of 44483 Solar Home Lighting Systems only 26861 have been distributed thereby leaving 17622 Solar Home Lighting Systems un-distributed. Similarly against target of 2408 Street Light Systems only 484 have been distributed thereby depriving benefit of remaining 1924 Street Light Systems to the people of un-electrified villages and hamlets.
In order to promote solar thermal technologies to meet cooking energy requirements and to reduce dependence on traditional biomass and fossil fuels, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in the month of September 2014 sanctioned sale and distribution of 15000 Solar Cookers in three different phases at various locations in J&K at a tentative cost of Rs 1687.5 lakh.
In the first phase, 5000 solar cookers were procured but only 2183 have been distributed till date despite the fact that target of 5000 was set on the basis of requisitions made by the district officers of the JAKEDA. Similarly, against target of 20000 biomass cookstoves only 3302 have been distributed by the JAKEDA.
“Due to slackness on the part of JAKEDA the people have been deprived of various initiatives of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy which include Solar Home Lighting Systems, Solar Street Lights, Solar Cookers and Biomass Cookstoves”, sources said, adding “JAKEDA is also under scanner as irrational distribution of solar lights particularly in Kishtwar district has surfaced a number of times during the past few years”.