Power Minister takes CPSUs to task for extreme slow pace of Rs 2500 cr works

Governor Satya Pal Malik and Union Power Minister R K Singh reviewing J&K's power projects and supply position in Srinagar on Thursday.
Governor Satya Pal Malik and Union Power Minister R K Singh reviewing J&K's power projects and supply position in Srinagar on Thursday.

Singh to directly monitor works, seeks fortnightly updates
CPSUs asked to set up camp offices in Srinagar

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Sept 6: Union Power Minister RK Singh has taken serious note of three Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) delay in work on augmentation of power transmission and distribution infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir and directed Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam to directly submit fortnightly report to his officer on implementation of Rs 2500 crore worth works.
Singh took exception to lackadaisical approach of the three CPSUs in implementation of the power related works in the State during high-level meeting chaired by Governor Satya Pal Malik and attended among others by top officials of Union Power Ministry and State Government in Srinagar, the summer capital of the State.
The Union Minister voiced his dissatisfaction over sluggish pace of work by three CPSUs including Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), Rural Electrification Corporation Power Distribution Company Limited (RECPDCL) and REC Transmission Project Company Limited (RECTPCL).
Official sources told the Excelsior that the three Central CPSUs have been allotted works worth Rs 2500 crore under Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP), Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS), Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (DDUGJY) and R-APDRP for augment power transmission and distribution works across the State.
However, during review of works, RK Singh found that pace (of the works) was extreme slow and he took the CPSUs to task. He directed them to expedite work on all projects for their timely completion.
The Union Minister directed Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam to submit fortnightly update on pace of the works directly to his office, where it will be monitored by the Minister himself and top officers of the Union Power Ministry.
RK Singh directed the representatives of the CPSUs, present in the meeting, to establish their camp offices in Srinagar and keep senior officers stationed there to regularly monitor progress of works in Kashmir and Ladakh regions, where it was extreme slow.
Sources said Advisor to Governor BB Vyas (Incharge Power Development Department) assured the Power Minister that he will also be taking regular review meeting to monitor progress of these works.
Sources pointed out that the Union Power Minister was perturbed over slow pace of work on the power projects by the Central PSUs and asserted that if work continue with such a pace, all work will miss timelines and cost of the projects will also overrun.
On J&K Government request for bringing down the Project Implementing Agency charges fixed at 8% for transmission and 8.5% for distribution works by these PSUs, RK Singh said the issue would be considered favourably and the PSUs would be asked to levy uniform rate of 5% as PIA charges.
In his presentation, Commissioner Secretary, Power Development Department (PDD), Hirdesh Kumar informed the meeting that there was only 5% physical progress on the works allotted to these PSUs in February this year.
He said RECPDCL has been engaged for execution of distribution works for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh areas for Design, Engineering, Procurement supply, erection, testing and commissioning of all the material and services works to be taken-up for execution of distribution works under IPDS, PMDP and R-APDRP in 5 circles of J&K at an estimated cost of Rs 931.33 crore.
Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) has been allotted execution of distribution works for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh areas for Design Engineering, Procurement, supply erection testing and commissioning of all the material and services works to be taken-up for execution of Sub- transmission and distribution works of eight districts under RGGVY-II, DDUGJY and PMDP (Rural) at an estimated cost of Rs 507.73 crore and for execution of transmission works in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh areas at an estimated cost of Rs 426.13 crore under PMDP. Similarly, RECTPCL has been allotted execution of transmission works for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh areas for Rs 495.54 crore under PMDP.
The MoU was signed with all these PSUs for execution of these works in February 2018.
An official handout said:- Governor Satya Pal Malik today called for taking maximum benefit from the flagship power sector schemes of the Government of India to ensure tangible improvement in electricity supply to the consumers in the State.
“With adequate Central funding available under various schemes for universal power coverage, the State’s Power Development Department (PDD) should take every measure to extend electricity supply to the remotest corners of the State,” he said while jointly reviewing with the Union Minister of State for Power (Independent Charge), R K Singh progress on implementation of flagship Central power sector schemes in the State at a high-level meeting at SKICC in Srinagar.
The Governor desired that PDD should make judicious and timely use of the available funds to ensure augmentation of power generation and upgradation of transmission and distribution network in the State.
He desired that PDD should ensure uninterrupted power supply especially during festivals and examinations of the students in the areas which are facing recurrent power woes. He asked the PDD to ensure round-the-clock electricity supply to at least such areas which are covered under cent percent metering and where the revenue realization is above 95%.
Advisor to Governor, B B Vyas, Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam, Union Joint Secretary Power (Distribution), Arun Verma,CMD, Rural Electrification Corporation, PV Ramesh, CMD, Power Finance Corporation, Rajiv Sharma, CMD, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, IS Jha, CMD, NHPC, Balraj Joshi, Financial Commissioner & Chairman, CVPPPL, KB Aggarwal, Principal Secretary Finance, Navin Kumar Choudhary, Principal Secretary to Governor, Umang Narula, Principal Secretary, Planning, Development & Monitoring, Rohit Kansal, OSD in PMO (SAUBHAGYA), PS Ahmad, Commissioner/Secretary PDD, Hirdesh Kumar, Secretary Science & Technology, Sheikh Fayaz Ahmad, Development Commissioner, Power J&K, Executive Director, IRCON, Subash Chand, HoDs of PDD and other senior officers attended the meeting.
The Governor and the Union Minister took a detailed review of R-RAPDRP, SAUBHAGYA, IDP, PMDP, DDUGJY and RGGVY and sought project-wise details regarding implementation of each scheme.
Speaking on the occasion, the Union Power Minister complimented the Jammu and Kashmir Government for making remarkable progress over the past few months in meeting targets on electrification of unelectrified villages. He said the encouraging momentum needs a renewed push to ensure tangible overall improvement in electricity supply scenario through upgradation of basic power infrastructure in the State.
“Pestering power crisis has been one of the major areas of concern in J&K and the Central Government is ready to walk extra mile by way of whatever support is needed to end this lingering problem in the State,” he said.
The Union Minister called for expediting the measures to overcome the power scarcity in the State with a sense of urgency and in a coordinated manner. He underlined the need for upgrading overall power infrastructure in a time-bound manner with focus on augmenting generation in the state sector, improving transmission and distribution network, bringing down T&D losses and expeditious completion of on-going schemes. At the same time, he said, concerted efforts should be made to improve revenue realization and check pilferages through technological interventions including installation of smart metres.
The Minister said that it was heartening to note that individual domestic consumers in J&K are the biggest contributors to the state’s power revenues.
He said the endeavour of the Government of India to provide electricity to every household by March 2019 and it is satisfying to note that Jammu and Kashmir is ahead of schedule in achieving the targets. He ordered release of Rs 200 crore to J&K for meeting the immediate requirements under SAUBHAGYA scheme.
The Union Minister assured adequate funds for replacement of outlived power infrastructure, adding that efficient infrastructure is must for efficient energy and directed the Commissioner/ Secretary PDD, J&K to immediately undertake such exercise and carryout upgradation of worn-out infrastructure.
To give grid connectivity to Gurez and Tulail Valleys, the Union Minister also gave his approval for undertaking a double circuit 132kV line on tower structures from Bandipora to Dawarin Gurez and single circuit 132kV line from Dawarto Tulail and two no. 132/33kV sub stations, 20 MVA each at Gurez and Tulail under PMDP at a tentative cost of Rs. 294.63 Cr as proposed by the State Government.
Commissioner/Secretary Power, Hirdesh Kumar Singh in power point presentation gave overview of the status of on-going projects. He informed that all 102 un-electrified villages have been electrified before the stipulated timeline under DDUGJY and RGGVY XII thus covered over 98 per cent villages and rest will be covered by ending December, 2018, he added.
Singh also took a detailed review of the J&K’s power sector.
The Union Minister expressed satisfaction over the implementation of Saubhagya scheme and complimented the state for planning to achieve 100% electrification of households. He also showed satisfaction on the progress of household electrification and implementation of other centrally sponsored schemes.
The Governor and Union Power Minister stressed upon RECPDCL that the work on smart /pre-paid metering should be immediately tendered and installation of the envisaged 9 lakh prepaid meters and 2 lakh smart meters should be completed on priority to reduce the huge AT&C losses and improve collection efficiency. The Union Minister asked Commissioner / Secretary, PDD that those areas where bill payment is high should be provided power supply 24×7. This would be a reward for these areas.
Further, the Union Minister stressed the need to increase the generation capacity in the State owing to the vast hydro power potential of approximately 20,000 MW in the State.
The Chief Secretary informed that the State Government has decided to take up development of 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Project through a Joint Venture between the centre and the State Government. It was also informed that CVPPPL is developing 1000 MW Pakal Dul and 624 MW Kiru and 540 MW Kawar HEPs. The Union Minister agreed to help expedite the work on these projects.
Towards reforming the power sector, the meeting was informed that the State has made J&K Tradeco Operational. The step will save penalties on power purchase bills due to late payment and provide opportunity for incentive for timely payments.
The Governor stressed close monitoring of all the projects under implementation and directed the PDD to ensure close inter-departmental co-ordination, particularly with Central PSUs which are implementing agencies, e.g. PGCIL, RECPDCL and RECTPCL, and directed them to complete all these works well before the envisaged time limit of 24 months.
The Governor also directed that on the eve of festivals like Eid, Muharram, Diwali, Gurupurab etc and during the examination of children and winters, 24X7, power supply should be made available. The Union Minister assured that full demand of power requirement of J&K will be met.