Reyaz Rashid

RAPDRP hits roadblock in J&K owing to ‘paucity of funds’

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PIAs demand payment as huge liabilities pile up

Srinagar: Aimed at achieving sustained loss reduction and power reforms in Jammu and Kashmir, Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (RAPDRP), a central sponsored scheme launched by the Ministry of Power, Government of India has hit a roadblock as the work under RAPDRP-B has been stopped by Project Implementing Agency (PIA) owing to the “paucity of funds”, resulting into huge liabilities.

While people had hailed the power reforms because of the strengthening of the sub-transmission and distribution networks in the urban areas under RAPDRP-B, the work on the project has been stopped by the concerned implementing agencies.

The letter, a copy of which lies with  Kashmir Images,  addressed to the Managing Director KPDCL, Srinagar vide No CE/P/KPDCL/ 752-753 dated: 28/05/2021 confirms that non-availability  of Central Sponsored Scheme RAPDRP-Part B has adversely impacted the progress of the projects as implementing agencies has stopped the work.

While giving reference to several other letters, the letter states that the funding issue of RAPDRP-B has been lingering on since long around two years, despite repeatedly taken up formally through protracted communication, few in recent past referred above, as well as lagged/highlighted in numerous review meetings remains unresolved till date.

“Non-availability of the funds since July 2019 under the central share, supposed to be released out of the funds released by the Central Government long back by the Administrative Department and cash liquidity problem of the Contractors thereof, has badly hit the scheme and marred the progress of projects,” the letter reads.

“Excessive delay in the release of longstanding due payments has evidently caused acute cash liquidity problem to the executing agencies. The contractors have been persistently clamoring for the clearance of their longstanding liabilities. On this behalf invoices although processed long back and some were approved for payments through PFMS, but payments were not finally released by the Director Finance- Administrative Department, citing cash non-availability in the account of the said Scheme when funds have been released by the Gol,” the letter revealed.

“As such due to the blockade of the work done claims, all these Contractors have been suffering immensely. Pertinently with hectic efforts of KPDCL and cooperation of the Contractors so far out of 12 ongoing towns, 04 Towns, have been completed fully and commissioned, but huge liabilities of the Contractors remaining pending. Due to this alarming situation, PlAs are not in position to continue the work and stopped the work on the projects due which early completion of the other towns is not possible in these circumstances,” the letter reads.

Under RAPDRP-B project renovation, modernization and strengthening of 11 kV level Substations, Transformers/Transformer Centers, Re-conductoring of lines at 11kV level and below, Load Bifurcation, feeder separation, Load Balancing, HVDS (11kV), Aerial Bunched Conductoring in dense areas, replacement of electromagnetic energy meters with tamper proof electronics meters etc, was to be done to achieve sustained loss reduction but with stoppage of the work has jeopardized the entire scheme.

Earlier, government claimed that out of 28 towns of RAPDRP-B projects sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 1665.00 crore 12 towns will be completed in November, 2020, 11 in June, 2021 and 5 in December, 2021 and commissioning of these projects would go a long way in providing adequate power supply to consumers of the state but so far only 4 towns have been completed.

An official familiar with the execution of the scheme termed the paucity funds unfortunate and confirmed that they had achieved a lot of objectives of the scheme due to which loss of energy was controlled and consumers were also happy with the service.

Repeated attempts to contact Managing Director, KPDCL Dr. Basharat Qayoom (IAS) proved fruitless as there was no response to repeated calls made by this reporter.

Pr. Secretary Power, Rohit Kansal, also didn’t respond to the text messages of this reporter.

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