State overdraws 24 lakh units from national grid to meet power demand; Is there full power supply in Haryana?
Consumption, demand highest ever; farmers complain power cuts
With demand of electricity in agriculture sector at its peak and sultry weather conditions prevailing across the region, Haryana overdrew 24 lakh units from the national grid on Monday to meet the highest ever demand of power in the state so far.
Haryana registered the highest ever demand and maximum unrestricted demand of 10069 MW of electricity at 9 pm on Monday, PK Das, Additional Chief Secretary, Power Department, Haryana, told on Tuesday.
The maximum off peak demand of electricity was registered as 10016 MW at 2 pm on Monday.
Das further said the unrestricted consumption of 2174.40 lakh units registered on Monday was also the highest ever in the state.
The power utilities Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) and Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) had to impose power cuts of 9.62 lakh units and yet 2164.77 lakh units of power was consumed in the state on Monday.
“The demand as well as the consumption of power on Monday was the highest ever so far in the state,” Das explained.
Sources said that nearly 30 per cent of the power consumed these days is going to the agriculture sector as irrigation is needed these days for all crops – paddy, cotton, sugar cane and other kharif crops.
Farmers, however, are not satisfied and allege that they have not been getting enough power to irrigate their fields.
“This is the peak season when we need water the most for transplantation of paddy. Farmers, who have already transplanted, need water to irrigate their crop. Cotton also needs water these days. Since it has not rained for over a week now, farmers need enough power for tubewells,” said Gurjeet Singh Mann, a progressive farmer from Sirsa.
Though the power utilities are claiming that they are giving 8-hour power supply a day, the power trips occasionally leading to cuts, Mann said.
Sources said that for overdrawing of power from national grid, the states have to pay the prevalent rates of that particular time which are inversely proportional to the frequency of electricity – a frequency of 50 Hz being the most ideal and the rates being the cheapest at this frequency.
The average frequency recorded on Monday was 49.98 Hz, the maximum 50.12 Hz and the minimum frequency was 49.72 Hz.
As regards the power generation status of the state at 7 am on Tuesday, all the four units of Panipat Themal Power Plants, unit 1 and 2 of Deen Bandhu Chhotu Ram Power Plant, Yamunanagar, units 7, 8 and 9 of Adani Power Limited, unit 2 and 3 of Indira Gandhi Thermal Power Station at Jhajjar, unit 2 of Rajiv Gandhi Thermal Power Station at Khedar and unit 1 of CLP group’s power generation unit at Jhajjar are functional and generating power.
‘Minimal living’: Rohtak village lacks vet doctor, water supply; Is the condition of the villages bad during the BJP Government?
Poor academic results of the local government school, “missing” veterinary doctor at the village clinic and a perennial drinking water problem weigh on the minds of villagers of Samargopalpur. Their repeated airing of grievances at various quarters has yielded nothing.
The parents of nearly all 85 children refuse to send them to the local anganwari as it has no supply of water and there seems to be no power ever. The anganwari helper, Anita, visits homes, urging parents to send the children with her. Refusing to send their wards, they question her for even coming to their houses given the lack of facilities at the school.
And, all these complaints are heaped outside one door, that of Rohtak MLA and Minister of State Manish Grover who adopted the village. Villagers claim it to be one door they have never found open. “He has not been able to address even these ‘insignificant issues’, proving that raising bigger issues is pointless,” says Sunil Parmar, a villager.
Residents also allege that whatever little happens in the village — the making of a road, a lane or such contractual works — is decided by a particular supporter of the minister who has the last word on any issue. A member of the panchayat, not wanting to be named, said the panchayat had been rendered powerless since all decisions were taken by one worker who overrules even the sarpanch.
The sarpanch’s brother, Pawan, explained, “We had issues with that worker who even threatened us not so long ago, but things have settled down now. We are working in tandem and the minister has given a lot of funds for making the pond’s retaining wall, various village lanes and other such works,” he said, adding that the minister had visited the village four times.
The villagers, however, beg to differ, maintaining that the minister has hardly visited the village. “The village has not benefited from this adoption. The first requirement is that he should be approachable. Trying to meet him is exhausting and nobody has the time to keep knocking at his door. We have started to believe that we were never adopted,” said Kanwar Pal, sitting with a group of men at the village pond, as they nod in unison.
They are pained by the government school’s poor result. “Of the 85 students, only 38 passed Class X. Let him do nothing for us but we want a secure future of our children,” says Sonu.
The veterinary clinic with its open doors has no doctor. “We have to travel to Rohtak if our cattle need any medical help as this doctor has 12 villages under him. We hardly get to see him,” Manjit Singh said.
The village women maintained that water was in short supply and they had to carry it to their homes from the field.
“I am aware of all problems because I visit the village once in two months. We will have a veterinary doctor soon, the introduction of exams will improve the academic standards and the water issue will be addressed. As far as that worker is concerned, he is my supporter but does not interfere in village work. I will go there and settle this as well,” the minister said when the villagers’ grievances were mentioned.
‘Bhawantar Bharpai’: Only 504 farmers get Rs 12 lakh; Is it benefit of this scheme getting the farmers?
Haryana earmarked Rs500 crore for its much-touted Bhawantar Bharpai Yojana (BBY), a price deficiency scheme support for vegetable crops, but only 504 farmers got compensation of just Rs 12 lakh in seven months, raising serious doubts over its implementation.
The BBY, launched by the state government in January this year initially on four vegetable crops, provided that if farmers failed to get at least Rs4 per kg for their potato and tomato crops or if they got less than Rs5 per kg for their onion and cauliflower crops, the government would compensate the difference.
Sources said that though the market prices of potato, onion and cauliflower remained higher than the minimum assured price decided by the government this year, farmers had to sell tomato for Rs1 per kg or even less in April and May this year, which was less than the base price by 75 per cent or even more.
According to estimates by traders, the total tomato production in the state in 2017-18 was between 9 lakh metric tonnes and 10 lakh metric tonnes.
The sources said that had the state government compensated the price deficiency of all farmers who sold their tomato at less price, the expenditure on tomato alone could have gone up to Rs300 crore.
Before Haryana launched the BBY, Madhya Pradesh had launched the Bhawantar Bhugtan Yojana for eight crops on similar lines, but the scheme had not met the desired success in that state, said the sources.
Agriculture Minister Om Prakash Dhankar said the state government was serious about the success of the scheme and was in the process of hiring a US company for providing artificial intelligence.
He said that the company had already given a presentation on how software developed by them could detect fraud, if any, in implementation of the schemes.
Asked why only 504 farmers had come forward for merely Rs12 lakh compensation despite availability of funds, Dhankar said that the benefits of the scheme were given only to those farmers who registered themselves under it.
Arjun Singh Saini, Director General, Horticulture Department, said merely 4,500 farmers had got registered under the scheme.
Tanwar offers olive branch to Hooda; Will Hooda come with Tanwar?
Admitting for the first time that political differences had turned into personal ones, Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar extended an olive branch to former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, saying he was willing to “forget and forgive” in the interests of the party.
In a candid admission, Tanwar said initially the differences arose when Hooda refused to acknowledge him as the party president, but these got murky after the Ram Lila ground and Bhairon Mandir incidents in which Tanwar was beaten up by Hooda’s supporters.
Tanwar said, “Time is a great healer. I expect all party leaders to remain harmonious and since we are headed towards state and parliamentary elections, I am willing to move on in the interests of the party.” He said the party leadership did try to broker peace between the two leaders, but it failed mainly because Hooda thought he was larger than the party and ignored the party president, but I am willing to let go the bygones.
At the same time when contacted Hooda about the truce offer, the former Chief Minister said, “I have no political or personal differences with any of my party colleagues. These may be at Tanwars end only. In fact, I don’t know what he is talking about. Everyone should work to strengthen the Congress party.”
Tanwar said his party was ready to face the elections and was ready for it. The sudden spurt in activity of the Chief Minister in the past few days indicated that the BJP was looking at holding the state Assembly and parliamentary elections sometime later this year. “But we are ready and you will see the Congress winning all 10 parliamentary and at least 80 Assembly segment,” he claimed.
Commenting on the non-synchronised activity of various Congress stalwarts, the party president said he always supported any action that would strengthen the party for the next election. After initial hesitation, he admitted that Hooda did not inform him about his “Rath Yatra” plans, quickly adding that if he had been kept in the loop, he would have only assisted in making the event an even bigger success since it was a move to strengthen the party rather than projecting himself as the next Chief Minister.
Lashing out at the BJP as the “most corrupt government”, making money, on one pretext or the other, Tanwar said the BJP made offices in 17 districts of Haryana after announcing demonetisation. Once the Congress comes to power, an inquiry will be held into the source of funding and all properties found to be brought from unexplainable wealth would be reverted to the government. He supported Hooda on the issue of retaining all 17 sitting Congress legislators in the House of 90 by adding that “we will go by the winning ability of the candidates”.
Referring to the tiff between his supporters and that of Hooda, Tanwar said the party high command had formed a committee that had given a report. But the FIR lodged for the clash between his supporters and that of Hooda had not been withdrawn as it was state versus the accused and he did not have much role in doing so.
Honeypreet wants to talk to her family members; Will the court give its permission?
Files application in Panchula court; Prosecution opposes plea due to security
Dera Sacha Sauda chief’s adopted daughter Honeypreet Insan, whose real name is Priyanka Taneja, has moved an application before a local court, seeking permission to talk to her family members on phone.
Honeypreet Insan, who is lodged in Ambala Jail in connection with Panchkula violence, submitted through her counsel that like other prisoners, she also wanted to talk to her family members from the jail. She said when other prisoners could avail the facility, why was she not allowed to use the same facility.
Honeypreet’s counsel submitted that as per the jail manual, an undertrial could talk to his or her family members on phone once in a day, but Honeypreet was not allowed to use the facility. Therefore, finally they moved an application before the Panchkula court, he submitted.
The prosecution has opposed Honeypreet’s plea due to security reasons.
Meanwhile, in the main case of the Panchkula violence, the court deferred the framing of the charges for August 7. While other accused were present in the court today, Honeypreet was produced through video conferencing.
Last month, the Panchkula court had rejected Honeypreet’s bail plea.
The special investigation team (SIT) of the Haryana Police had slapped the sedition charge against 22 accused, including Honeypreet, in connection with the Panchkula violence on August 25 last year.
According to the police chargesheet, the conspiracy to spread violence in Panchkula was hatched at the dera headquarters by Honeypreet and the 45-member dera management committee.
Honeypreet, adopted daughter of rape convict Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim, was charged with criminal conspiracy and sedition, and is the prime accused in the Panchkula violence that broke out after the conviction of the dera chief.
Notably, Honeypreet had travelled with the dera chief in a helicopter when he was airlifted from Panchkula to Rohtak’s Sunaria jail after his conviction in the rape case.
Later, Honeypreet went into hiding for 38 days before her arrest on October 4 last year from the Zirakpur-Patiala highway. As many as 36 people were killed and more than 200 injured during the Panchkula violence on August 25 last year.