Omar attends public function in Srinagar after 16 weeks | india | Hindustan Times
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Omar attends public function in Srinagar after 16 weeks

In a significant sign of improving situation in Kashmir Valley after four-month unrest, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday presided first public function after 16 weeks when he commissioned power receiving station at Srinagar’s Jawahar Nagar area.

india Updated: Oct 16, 2010 20:19 IST
HT Correspondent

In a significant sign of improving situation in Kashmir Valley after four-month unrest, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday presided first public function after 16 weeks when he commissioned power receiving station at Srinagar’s Jawahar Nagar area.

The chief minister found it difficult in the last four months to reach out to people directly due to violent street protests. He faced embarrassment twice in the last two months. On August 5, when attendants of victims of the violence booed at him in a Srinagar hospital. He had to take a helicopter ride from his residence to pass just 10 km away to avoid confrontation with mobs on streets. On August 15, a disgruntled policeman hurled shoe at him while he was taking the guard of honour.

Saturday’s function, however, passed off peacefully with many senior official, ministers and locals participating in the inauguration of the receiving station.

“Power production is our nerve line to grow economically and have an all round development of the state. The government was making every effort to harness the hydro energy potential of the State to its optimum,” said the chief minister at the function, attended by a few locals.

The receiving station will benefit 3,500 households. It will also provide flexibility to the power department in feeding important installation like hospitals and educational institutions.

Equating the importance of power generation with the significance of efficient energy distribution and transmission system, Abdullah said his government was giving due attention for establishing a dependable and modern electricity distribution network in the state.

“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.

The Chief Minister 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. He said there was a 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.