JAMMU, Jan 27: The NC-Congress Opposition today staged a walkout from the House when Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh refused to take his statement back that he had received a liability of Rs 7000 crore in PDD from the previous coalition Government in the State.
As the Deputy Chief Minister stood up to wind up the debate on grants of Housing & Urban Development and Power Development Departments in the Assembly, he made a reference to previous Government saying that he got a liability of Rs 7000 crore from previous Government.
This was strongly objected to by NC leader Devender Rana who was supported by other members of his party. Rana who took serious exception of Deputy CM’s statement, asked him to take it back as he was referring to then Chief Minster, Omar Abdullah who was Power Minister at that time and being the leader of their Party they will not allow allegation to be levelled against their leader.
However, Dr Singh said that he has spoken facts what is history and there is nothing wrong in it as he has not named any one. But NC members again insisted that the statement should be withdrawn.
Intervening, Speaker Kavinder Gupta said that he gave the figures of grants and there is nothing wrong in that. But not budging from his stand, Rana moved towards the front row in protest and later members of both opposition parties NC as well as Congress staged a walkout. However, the House passed the grants in the meantime.
In his reply, Dr Nirmal Singh said the transmission line from Jallandar to Samba and Amargarh in Sopore has been completed up to Samba and it will transmit 1000 mws of power to the State. In execution of this work, Department is advance by 15 months which is a big achievement.
The Deputy CM said for augmentation of electricity Rs 220 crore have been earmarked for the tourist destinations of Pahalgam, Patnitop, Gulmarg etc.
Maintaining that power theft is the main cause of revenue loss and unscheduled cuts, Dr Singh said while 28 lakh ration cards are registered in the State only 16 lakh have power connections having a difference of 12 lakh. “This shows how much theft is in power sector. This is the main cause of unscheduled power cuts also”, he added.
The Deputy CM said on peak hours the State has a demand of 2740 mws of power and supply is 2150 mws. For purchasing over 500 mws to overcome the demand, the State can’t transmit the same as it has no proper infrastructure for this.
He said out of Rs 7000 crore liability received from previous Government, Rs 3500 crore will be met from UDAY loan component of Central Government while for remaining Rs 3450 crores, the Department has purchased bonds to zero the market liability.
Dr Singh said in 1996 the State had a revenue collection of Rs 54.33 crore which has reached to Rs 1927 crore in 2015-16.
The Deputy CM said the deadline of RAPDRP has been extended to March 2018 from March 2017 and 40 percent work in Jammu province has been completed under the scheme. He said Rs 1144.59 crore has been sanctioned with an objective of covering the left out works of RAPDRP.
He said to overcome transmission and distribution losses in 18 months, 10 lakh smart meters have been installed and the general amnesty scheme has been extended to March 31, 2018.
The Deputy Chief Minister said the proposed outlay in Housing and Urban Development for 2016-17 was 77815.29 lakhs while the revised outlay is 75729. The proposed outlay for 2017-18 has been kept at Rs 97407.29 lakhs for the State.
He said Housing and Urban Development proposed Urban Development, Dal Development, Sewerage, Drainage, Housing and Poverty Alleviation under Capital component for Urban Governance and Development.
He said the second draft of Smart City Proposals (SCPs) in respect of both the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar have been prepared and it was under improvement in consultation with stake holders and will be submitted to the Ministry of Urban Development, GoI for Smart City Challenge -II (Round III).
Dr Singh said five cities viz Jammu, Srinagar, Anatnag, Leh and Kargil have been selected for Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) with an objective of revamp drainage, sewerage and seepage Management, improvement of water supply, urban transport system, development of parks and green spaces.
Earlier the RSS issue again figured in the Assembly with NC’s Ali Mohammed Sagar accusing the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh of sending a wrong signal in the State by stating that he is a proud RSS man.
Taking serious exception to Sagar’s remarks, Deputy Chief Minster said “what I am in the House and Government that is different and what I am in personal life has nothing do with it”.
Countering him Sagar said “you are in public domain so you can’t say this”. However some BJP MLAs also stood up from their seats to counter Sagar and there was an uproar in the House as Mohammed Akbar Lone of NC and Abdul Majid Larni also supported Sagar. There were heated exchanges between the two sides for some time.
When Speaker asked both sides to maintain calm they refused and continued attacks and counter attacks.
Keeping his point Lone said when member raised an issue and Minister replied why the BJP members stood up. However the BJP members did not budge and were on their toes. Even the Deputy Speaker’s repeated instructions asking them to take seats failed to yield results.
Criticizing the Government, Sagar alleged that Srinagar city has been totally neglected though it gave five seats to PDP. “Has not the Party won these five seats it would have been on Opposition benches today”, he added and asked the Government to do justice to these people at least.
He alleged in a meeting the NC members were asked to go out and such a treatment is being meted to Party members. But he was countered by the Minister of Social Welfare, Sajjad Gani Lone who along with Minister of Rural Development, Abdul Haq Khan stood up from their seats to counter Sagar. Lone said during their tenure, Peoples Conference members were not also allowed to enter in the meeting. Lone said “Sagar Sahib you talk of PDP-BJP alliance during your time our members were also thrown out of the meeting”.
As order was restored in the House, Sagar continued debate. He said “what Altaf Bukhari revealed in the House I endorse the same and there is no politics in it”. There are problems in down town of Srinagar and they needed to be addressed and don’t say that the people in down town are stone pelters. This is being said to defame them, he added.
Earlier making a scathing attack on his own Government Altaf Bukhari of PDP, a former Minister, said no body knows about the self generation of the power in the State though this Government is in office for two years now. “What policy Government has for improving power supply one does not know as the situation is worsening day by day”?, he asked.
He also wanted to know why the power budget was presented by Finance Minster instead of Deputy Chief Minister. “I am at loss on it”? So far as Thein Dam issue is concerned State loses 120 mws of power and there was BJP -Akali coalition Government in Punjab and there is PDP -BJP Government in the State too and if problem could not be settled this time then when?
Bukhari said six top officers in PDD have been given additional charges and no promotions were made for last seven years in the Department. He wanted to know that how Department will function under these circumstances.
He while criticizing the Government said “I think it does not need MLAs. Two parking lots were made in my Constituency and I was not invited”. “I approached Deputy Chief Minister in 2015 and he allotted Rs seven crore for lanes and drains but till date the works were not executed by the officers”, he added.
He said Srinagar city is at the verge of destruction and for soil wastage management contracts have been given but one does not know what is being done. “The famous Dal lake is dying and we all are watching as silent spectators”,. Moreover roads have not been repaired in Housing colonies, he added.
Later the House also witnessed a verbal duel between Ch Sukhnandan and NC’s Mohamed Akbar Lone when former was on Speaker’s chair. As Sukhnandan asked BJP’s Dr Devender Manyal to speak on grants, Lone objected that he has not been given the time as he had to speak.
However Sukhnandan said your Party has given the list and he is going according to that. Four members from your party have already spoken and it is his turn. But Lone continued to press his point and stood up to speak saying he will not allow the BJP member to speak.
Objecting him Sukhnandan asked “is he (Manyal) not the member of the House why will you not allow him to speak? You have also remained the Speaker of this House” . However, the NC member continued protest and beat the table with some papers in a bid to interrupt the speech of BJP MLA.
Earlier Haji Abdul Rashid of Congress accused the Government of disrespecting Mufti’s dreams. He while seeking intervention of Speaker said the Government has turned deaf and it was not hearing him. “Please tell them to listen”.
He alleged that in the Board meeting at Sopore it was decided that the wastage of other Constituency will not be dumped in Sopore dumping yard. But no body respected the same later and wastage form adjoining constituency is being dumped in Sopore.
He asked the Deputy Chief Minster to solve the problem otherwise Sopore people know what to do and the entire India is fully aware of the same.
He said what Bukhari said is true and he should sit this side instead of that side.