The development gains importance given the fact that political activities, inaugurations and laying of foundation stones in Srinagar, had come to a ‘grinding halt’ owing to the over-four month long unrest triggered by civilian deaths at the hands of police and paramilitary personnel. No mainstream party has been able to hold a rally in any part of Srinagar or elsewhere during the past four months.
On Saturday Omar visited Jawahar Nagar, an uptown area of Srinagar, which remained relatively peaceful during the unrest, to inaugurate a power receiving station. However, the event did not attract many people and about hundred persons including PDD, civilian and police officials including IGP Kashmir S M Sahai were present on the occasion.
Amid stringent security cover, the chief minister along with MoS for Housing and Urban Development, Nasir Aslam Wani, who also represents Jawahar Nagar area, arrived at Jawahar Nagar area at around 12.30 pm. Omar cut the ribbon, put on the switch of receiving station and left the place.
The policemen were deployed on top floors of many residential houses to provide aerial cover to chief minister. The cops were also deployed in lanes and bylanes and had blocked roads by placing concertina wires to thwart any untoward incident.
This is for the first time during the past four months that such kind of inauguration took place in Srinagar.
Except macademisation, the government has not been able to carry out proper developmental activities in view of the unrest. CM’s visit to Jawahar Nagar is seen a ‘major development’ given the fact that no untoward incident or any protest took place during the event.
Earlier, in a move to reach out to the injured people at SKIMS, Soura, Omar took aerial route but faced public resentment inside the hospital wards as a group of people resorted to massive pro-freedom slogans. He was forced to leave the hospital in a hurry.
The government, however, states that it has been in constant touch with people despite turmoil. “We were very much in touch with the people despite situation not being normal,” MoS Housing and Urban Development Nasir Aslam Wani told Rising Kashmir.
Asked whether commissioning the receiving station was a move to reach out to people openly, Wani said, “It was a long pending demand of people to see the receiving station functional. At least 3500 houses would avail the benefit of the receiving station in more than 40 localities”.
An official spokesman said Omar while speaking on commissioning of the receiving station, equated the importance of power generation with the significance of efficient energy distribution and transmission system.
“We are seeking a central assistance of Rs. 5851 crores for the implementation of a turnaround project submitted by The Energy Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi for power sector reforms and improvement in distribution and transmission system”, he said adding that a chain of grid stations, receiving stations and sub-stations were already under various stages of completion in the State.
Omar said that 12 major power projects besides dozens of smaller ones have been initiated to generate about 5,000 MWs of power in the State in next five to six years. “Our efforts are vigorously on to give new dimension to the power generation and its proper distribution”, he said adding that 30 towns in the State including Jammu and Srinagar cities have been brought under a new Restructured Accelerated Power Development Reforms Programme estimated to cost Rs. 144.11 crores.
He said that there was greater need to improve and upgrade power transmission and distribution system in the State and initiate reforms at various levels to make good of the transmission losses and also keep the system pilferage free.
Abid Bashir Srinagar, Oct 16: