On the last day of the monsoon session, chief minister Virbhadra Singh announced to hold an inquiry into delay in laying of high transmission lines planned to connect Karcham Wangtu to Kaza.
Intervening in discussions, Singh said, “I am also not satisfied with the explanation given by the electricity board on delay. I intend to hold an inquiry on why this delay has taken place and why the estimate of laying this line which was ordered has gone manifold? This is partly due to weather conditions, but mostly it is due to the inefficiency of the electricity board.”
“At a time when the project was conceived the engineer heading the project is now the chairman of the electricity board, but still not much progress has been made in laying of the transmission lines,” said the chief minister.
The chief minister was also perturbed by the reply of power minister Sujjan Singh Pathania and had to intervene in between the reply of the minister assuring deputy speaker Jagat Singh Negi, MLA from Kinnaur, and Ravi Thakur, MLA from Lahaul and Spiti, that he would personally look into the matter.
The project was first conceived in 1997 and 66-kV/22-kV lines were to be laid between Karcham to Kaza a distance of over 150 km, which would have provided to far-flung areas of Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur district.
Negi raised the issue on the problems on Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti. He said since 1997, several state governments have been formed and in 16 years, the state electricity board has spent around Rs 50 crore, but still the project of laying transmission line is far from complete.
Thakur raised the problems of Lahaul and Spiti and said for six months there was no electricity in the district which was becoming one of the biggest problems of the district and moreover security forces deployed on the China border have to stay without any regular supply of electricity and water.
Thakur demanded speedy completion of the Rong-Tong project and laying of high-tension wires in the districts so that electricity could reach to every household and border posts where security forces are deployed.