Power project leased to Chandigarh firm proves useless for Budgam villagers
Chirag Taley Andhera
GK NEWS NETWORK
Budgam, Nov 21: The inhabitants of Branwar village and its adjoining areas are up in arms against a private firm for failing to provide uninterrupted electricity after establishing a mini-hydroelectric power project in the area following the consent of the state government.
“For the last over a decade the people of Branwar had been hearing that a power project is coming up in their village on the Doodh Ganga. Finally the dream came true and some years ago the construction was started on this project by Chandigarh based P&R Group (Independent Power Producer) which had signed the 40 years lease agreement with J&K Government and the 7.5 MW mini hydro-electric power project was commissioned more than a year back,” the locals said.
“Initially the project was functioning nicely provided 24x7 power supply to the residents of Branwar. In addition to this nearly 25 adjoining villages also receiving uninterrupted power. After commissioning of this project the energy load on the Chadoora power grid station came down drastically,” the locals said adding that since the last couple of months, the project was providing power only for few hours to the Branwar and adjoining villages, which was “totally against the norms.”
“The firm continues to sell power to the Bemina grid,” they added.
The locals expressed anguish over the “callous attitude” of the Government and management of this project. “We were happy when we used to receive power from Chadoora grid for many hours, but now we feel ditched as we receive electricity for few hours only,” Sajjad Ahmed of Branwar told Greater Kashmir. “They exploited our water resources, felled hundreds of trees to construct this project and now we are not even provided proper power supply,” another youth Nazir Ahmed said.
The locals said the power producer had to spend one per cent of the total cost of energy generated for the development of the village under Local Area Development Fund, which was mandatory for all the mega projects. “Under this agreement the company has to spend at least 8 to 10 lakh annually in Branwar, but they have not spent a single penny in the village since last more than a year,” the locals said.
When contacted, Power Development Corporation, Technical Officer, said the Branwar Power Project was owned by a private firm and Government had no control over it. “As per the State Hydel Policy of 2003 the owner of the project can sell power to anybody as the policy gives him a free hand to do so.”
Lastupdate on : Sun, 21 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 21 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 22 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST
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