Shimla: Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has expressed concern over the inordinate delay in the laying of 66 KV power transmission line from Bokhtu (Karcham Wangtu) to Kaza uptill Losar. The 66-KV/22-KV lines were to be laid between Karcham to Kaza covering distance of over 150 km, which would have provided uninterrupted power supply to far-flung areas of Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur district.
Presiding over the meeting of the State Tribal Advisory Council (TAC) here today, he said the electricity board had spent around more than Rs 50 crore, still the project of laying transmission line was hanging midway. Though the weather conditions might have caused some hindrances in carrying out the work along with some other natural reasons, but since the project was conceived way back in 1997, it should have been completed till now. The department should have thought of laying underground cables, wherever feasible, to overcome the natural impediment, he said.
However, in reply it was disclosed that the line from Bokhtu was made operational in 2005, but due to heavy snowfall in 2015, the wires were snapped at many places which were made operational and power restored in January 2016. The 66 KV electric sub-station at Pooh would be set up soon as all formalities are complete. As far as the work from Akpa to Pooh was concerned, 110 towers had been installed and the electric supply was now normal. From Pooh to Kaza 107 kilometers of transmission wire is proposed to be laid covering 107 kilometers but there were few sliding and glacier zones. The department proposes to install 206 electric poles leaving aside glacier and sliding zones which included the transmission line from Chango to Sumdo (13 Kms), Hurling to Poh (33 Kms), Sichling to Lingti (8 Kms), and Lidaang to kaza (12 kms). The survey is complete and estimates were being prepared and the detailed project report from Kaza to Losar was also ready.
Virbhadra Singh also showed his concern over the slow pace of work on Atargu-Mudh-Bhawa road (106 Kms) which would shorten the distance of around 100 kilometers to Pin valley. A stretch of 33.5 Kms of road was completed from Kaza side and a portion of around 28 Kms falls in Pin Valley National Park Wild Life Sanctuary. He said the matter pertaining to forest clearance would be taken up in State Wild Life Board meeting and directed the forest department to pursue the matter with central empowered committee so that the road could be through giving much relief to inhabitants of Spiti.
Discussions were also held regarding construction of tunnel at ‘Urni Dhank’, for a permanent solution to overcome the huge blockade. The two alternate bridges were recently opened for vehicular traffic and as far the issue regarding tunnel is concerned a consultant had been appointed and the report is awaited. Directions were issued to complete ongoing work on Leo by-pass road in Kinnaur district. Being border road it will also shorten the distance between Ka and Chango villages to approximately 17 Kilometers.
The Chief Minister said that improvement, resurfacing and widening of road from Kahdu Nallah to Sansari Nallah, bordering Jammu and Kashmir, in Pangi subdivision of district Chamba should be done systematically. At present the road is under GREF and as per GREF authorities, few kilometers of portion was outsourced and they can do only after permission from Ministry of Defence (MoD) for which they were pursuing the matter.
The Chief Minister also directed to complete the work on Mooling Bridge by June 2017. It was also disclosed that a bailey bridge on Chandra River connecting North Portal of Rohtang Tunnel would be completed within a week. The bridge was constructed in 2006, near Telling village at Sissu in Lahaul and Spiti collapsed on 29th July 2016 due to strong current of River Chandra and was on the material supply bridge to North Portal of Rohtang tunnel.
Decision was taken to ply deluxe bus between Sangla and Delhi, and few local buses in Keylong Trilokinath and Udaipur. It was disclosed that 22 HRTC buses were being deployed in Tribal belts of the State to facilitate the people.
The Chief Minister also issued direction to take action against the contractor who had failed to complete the work of Girls Hostel (Eklavya Bhawan) at Nichar in Kinnaur which was in limbo for quite some time.
On the issue of vacancies in electricity Board Limited, the Chief Minister revealed that as many as 3000 posts of the field staff would soon be filled and deputed in tribal and other areas. It was also decided to open a IPH rest house at Udaipur instead at Rangwey.
Shri Virbhadra Singh issued direction to complete the pending works well in time in the short working period in Tribal belts of the State. He also exhorted the people that only policy matters pertaining to welfare and development be placed before the TAC meeting. He said development works in tribal areas had been speeded up during the past two years by the government with special attention to education, health and other public utility sectors. In 2016-17, a provision of Rs 696 crore had been made under Plan and Rs 610 crore under Non-Plan for Tribal areas of the State for development activities.
The Chief Minister said that a sum of Rs 76 crore was being spent on roads, Rs 189 crore on health and Rs 55.44 crore on Irrigation and Public Health sector in tribal areas of the State, besides a sum of Rs 25 crore on Border Area Development Programme (BADP). In addition to this, Rs 20.76 crore had been distributed as relief to the people in Tribal areas due to losses suffered to their property due to natural disaster.