Even after passing of almost 11 years, grid station at Putushai village in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district is yet to be commissioned, even as the project has missed four deadlines.
Locals said that the foundation of the project was laid in the year 2009 with the promise that it would be completed in two years’ time to mitigate the power woes being faced by the district.
“Almost 11 years have passed but the project is yet to be commissioned. This is pace of development with which successive regimes have been working on to construct a grid station here. This is very unfortunate that two governments have been in place in last 11 years but none has been able to complete and commission this grid station,” said Ali Mohammad Mir, a local resident.
The foundation of the grid station was laid when the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved the project under PMRP but till date, the grid station is yet to be made functional.
Locals said that there has been an inordinate delay in the construction of the grid station owing to the indifference of successive government s over the years. “It is failure of successive regimes as they have not been able to commission the project. Similarly, the local district administration has also failed to take up the issue with the concerned authorities to make the multi-crore project functional,” the residents said
Though the grid station has been completed and tested, the delay in laying transmission line and erecting transmission towers has left the project hanging. The grid station has been constructed to benefit around 110 villages of the district.
However, on February 7, four under-construction transmission towers of the grid station collapsed due to heavy snowfall.
The collapse led to further delay in commissioning of the project and raised eye-brows over the quality of work being carried out. According to details available with Greater Kashmir, the project has two components viz 50 MVA, 132/33 KV grid station, and 132 KV D.C Transmission line. The grid station was to be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 18 crores.
The 132 KV DC Transmission line from Badampora, Ganderbal to Bandipora was to be laid at an estimated cost of around Rs 20 crores.
Earlier, the grid station was to be commissioned in March 2016, later the commissioning date was extended to December 2016 due to some ROW (Right of Way) issues. In December 2016 also the commissioning of the project got delayed and till date, the grid station is yet to be commissioned and made functional.
As already reported by this newspaper, in December last, then Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary had assured that by the end of December 2018, grid station would be made functional.
On February 27, days after assuming charge as Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Shahbaz Ahmad Mirza had set April 12, 2019 deadline for commissioning of the grid station but a month has passed since then, grid station is yet to be made functional.
When contacted Chief Engineer System and Operations Wing PDD, Javid Yousuf said that the grid will be “targeted for completion” within next two months. “If the contractors won’t be able to do it we will take over the job by ourselves. We will deploy manpower from our side,” he said.