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Amid massive public outcry over power crisis in Kashmir, the deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh on Wednesday chaired a meeting where he called for “concerted efforts” to reduce the power transmission and distribution losses to improve the overall power scenario in the Valley.

His remarks came on the day Greater Kashmir reported how the power development department has failed to utilise the Prime Minister’s Development Plan funds for strengthening the power distribution system in Jammu and Kashmir in the past two years.

Singh, also the minister for power, stressed on augmentation of power infrastructure and strengthening the system to realise the dream of round-the-clock uninterrupted power supply in the state, an official spokesman said.

The deputy chief minister also reviewed the progress on various ongoing works under the Prime Minister’s Development Plan and stressed on the officers to expedite work on all the projects so that their time-bound completion is ensured, the spokesman said, adding that he also directed the department to gear up to meet the people’s expectations.

There is no shortage of funds, Singh said, and called for time-bound completion of the development projects.

Singh also reviewed the present position of power supply and pace of work on various ongoing power development department projects and asked the officers to follow the already-notified electricity schedule and avoid unscheduled power cuts. “He also directed them to re-examine all feeders and add more feeders, wherever necessary, to minimise snapping of high-voltage power lines,” the spokesman said.

The deputy chief minister said that with the commissioning of Alasteng grid station, the power scenario in Srinagar and South Kashmir would “improve significantly.” He set the August-2018 deadline for completion of the grid station, the spokesman said, and asked the officers to review the progress on the power station every 15 days to ensure its completion within the stipulated time.

He also called for expediting land acquisition for construction of Budgam grid station so that work on it starts as early as possible.

To ensure speedy repair of electric transformers, Singh called for increasing the capacity of the department’s workshops, the spokesman said.

At least 200 transformers have been acquired and kept in the buffer stock for prompt replacement of faulty ones, he said, adding that steps are afoot to increase the human resource of the department to better cater to rising demands.