January 2008 News

CM: No specific time-frame for implementation of PM package

22 January 2008
The Daily Excelsior

Excelsior Correspondent JAMMU: Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said that no specific time-frame has been fixed for the implementation of Prime Ministerís package in the State. 'The implementation of schemes under PMís package is a continuous process and whenever funds are released the same are utlised', he said following uproar by the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly over the slow pace of work on various schemes and projects taken up under the package in the power sector. Mr Azad said that some projects could take time of 10 years while the others can be completed within shortest possible time depending upon the number of clearances required from different quarters. 'For execution of some projects, there are requirements of environment and Supreme Court clearance while for the others approach roads are required to be constructed and all these take much time', he added. The Chief Minister also contested the claims of the Opposition that the then Finance Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig had assured that the Prime Ministerís package would be completed in four years and said that the assurance was about Baglihar Project. 'Had the tunnel of the project not been damaged in the floods the Baglihar Project would have been completed last year', Mr Azad said. Earlier, National Panthers Party (NPP) Member Harsh Dev Singh while raising supplement-aries, said that since the launch of Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) in 2005 only three transformers have been installed in Udhampur district which clearly indicated the pace of work. 'If this is the pace of work then how would you complete Rs 18000 crore project', he asked and said that MLAs were not involved in formulation of plans for the electrification as a result of which private agency Larson and Tubro (L&T) engaged by the NHPC has been resorting to bunglings by drawing money against the already electrified villages. Responding to the supplementary of Harsh Dev Singh, the Minister for Power Babu Singh said that he will enquire about the issue and if the allegations of the Member turned out to be correct he will take strict action. Joining Harsh Dev Singh, National Conference Member Ali Mohammad Sagar said that only 10 percent of the Prime Ministerís package for power sector has been implemented in four years and wanted to know when will the people of State get benefit of the package. Leader of the Opposition Abdul Rahim Rather said that for the improvement in power infrastructure Rs 1100 crore were sanctioned by the Centre but till November 11, 2007 the cumulative expenditure has been worked out at Rs 538 crore only. He expressed surprise that despite having sufficient funds the Government has failed to contain transmission and distribution losses. 'What are the reasons behind less expenditure by the Government', he asked. However, the Minister said that key material and equipment were not available due to huge gap between demand and supply of key material and equipment and this has led to less expenditure and slow pace of work. Congress Member Raman Bhalla raised the issue of diversion of funds from the urban areas particularly his constituency and said this has affected several projects.

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