Daunting task for authorities to meet deadline fixed by PM
JAMMU, Aug 18: Union Ministry of Power has pulled up J&K for dilly-dallying approach in electrification of over 3.80 lakh households in different parts of the State despite liberal financial assistance under major schemes aimed at ensuring Power for All by December 31, 2018.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that during a recent review meeting convened at Union Capital the Ministry of Power conveyed its displeasure to the senior functionaries of the Power Development Department of Jammu and Kashmir over slackness in electrification of un-electrified households in the State.
The Ministry observed that over 3.80 lakh households are yet to be electrified by the Power Development Department (PDD) and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), which have been entrusted with the task of implementation of major power sector schemes like Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), Prime Minister Development Programme (PMDP) and Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana commonly known as Saubhagya.
“The concern of the Union Power Ministry is genuine as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is very serious about giving practical shape to his announcement regarding Power for All by December 31, 2018 across the country”, sources said while disclosing that Prime Minister’s Office is regularly seeking update about electrification of un-electrified households from the Power Ministry and laying stress on initiating steps to meet the deadline.
They further said, “since only four months have been left to meet the deadline, electrification of over 3.80 lakh households in the length and breadth of Jammu and Kashmir is really a daunting task for the Power Development Department and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited”.
According to the sources, the Union Ministry has explicitly told the top brass of the Power Development Department to leave no stone unturned to complete electrification work within the stipulated time so that J&K doesn’t act as road-block in ensuring Power for All by December 31, 2018.
The Ministry has also directed the State for furnishing information about progress on electrification works after regular intervals so that exact status could be ascertained and PMO is updated accordingly.
As per the official data, of total 3.81 lakh un-electrified households, 2.26 lakh are required to be electrified under DDUGJY and PMDP-Rural and remaining 1.55 lakh under Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana.
It is pertinent to mention here that Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana was launched by the Prime Minister on July 25, 2015 for facilitating 24×7 supply of power by focusing on feeder separation (rural households and agricultural) and strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution infrastructure including metering at all levels in rural areas.
Similarly, Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana –“Saubhagya” was launched on September 25, 2017 to ensure electrification of those households which could not be covered under any other power sector scheme.
Holding delay in implementation of DDUGJY and PMDP-Rural responsible for the present situation, sources said, “had the projects under both these schemes been completed as expeditiously as possible only 1.55 lakh households would have to be electrified with the aim of providing Power for All”, adding “the delay in completion of DDUGJY and PMDP has complicated the situation which led to pulling up of State authorities by the Union Power Ministry”.
They disclosed that for DDUGJY works in 21 districts of the State the Union Power Ministry has sanctioned Rs 619.57 crore. However, the work has yet not picked up the required momentum and contracts in respect of certain projects were awarded recently.
It may be recalled that three Central Public Sector Undertakings were selected for execution of works under DDUGJY and PMDP early this year following no response from the private contractors since 2015.
“It is a matter of serious concern that even after liberal financial assistance from the Union Power Ministry the State is soft-paddling on electrification works and depriving timely benefit of the Centrally Sponsored Schemes to the targeted population”, sources regretted.