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Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs high-level meeting on infrastructure

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired a high-level meeting on infrastructure. During the meeting, he reviewed the status of stalled projects in the infrastructure sector.

Besides a broad overview of the infrastructure scenario in the country, the meeting focused on the specific sectors of rural infrastructure, power, coal, renewable energy and petroleum and natural gas.

The Prime Minister stressed on the need for government departments to work towards initializing spending of the budget, in a focused manner right from the start of the financial year.

The Prime Minister asked for specific data to be collected and presented on priority areas such as toilets, affordable housing and smart cities. He said that in the urban areas, one of the priorities should be in creation of waste to wealth, and efficient systems for waste water disposal and solid waste management in 500 cities.
Reviewing rural infrastructure, the Prime Minister directed that the highest priority be accorded to the work envisaged under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana. He said irrigation potential of all reservoir projects should be realized to the extent possible.

In the power sector, the Prime Minister reiterated his emphasis on electrification of the unconnected villages at the earliest. Modi also inquired about the progress on renewable energy goals, and directed maximum focus on this area. He said public spaces such as railway stations should be priority areas for adopting energy efficient technologies, and renewable energy.

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State Power Development, J&K Dispelled Any Privatisation Of Power Sector

Authorities of the State Power Development department have dispelled rumours of any privatisation of the power sector in J&K

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India, J&K, Power, Sector, Development
The government proposes to unbundle the department to break it into four profit-oriented companies. Pixabay

Authorities of the State Power Development department have dispelled rumours of any privatisation of the power sector in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

For the last fortnight, employees of the state power development department have been agitating against privatisation. The agitation is fuelled by fear that once privatised, service benefits and service protection of the serving employees would be compromised.

Speaking to IANS, Qazi Hashmat, Chief Engineer, Maintenance and Rural Electrification, said: “The rumours of privatisation are completely unfounded. There is no plan to privatise the department.

“The government proposes to unbundle the department to break it into four profit-oriented companies.

“These would include electric power generation (Genco), power distribution Jammu (Discom Jammu), power distribution valley (Discom Valley) and the power buying and selling company (Trade Co). All these would be completely state-owned companies.

“Ofcourse these companies would be profit-oriented while they will protect the service benefits of the present employees that includes the chief engineer down to the level of our lineman.

“All the presently serving employees/officers would continue to be government servants while they serve these state owned companies on deputation,” the Chief Engineer said.

Squashing fears of the employees losing their service benefits, the Chief Engineer said, “Instead of losing any of their present benefits the profit-oriented companies would work out better working conditions and benefits for their staffs”.

India, J&K, Power, Sector, Development
The agitation is fuelled by fear that once privatised, service benefits and service protection of the serving employees would be compromised. Pixabay

He said after these four state-owned companies come into existence after the complete unbundling of the power development department, future employments would be made by the companies and those engaged thereafter would be employees of these companies.

“It will take many years before these companies can employ their own staff. Till that time, all of us serving the department presently would continue to be government servants on deputation.

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“A big advantage after these companies come into existence is that we can check power pilferage, fix tariffs and supply uninterrupted power without any political interference. The Trade Co can decide buy power at peak hours without any official red-tapism involved”, the Chief Engineer said. (IANS)