POWER MINISTER COORDINATES ACTION PLAN FOR RESTORATION OF POWER SUPPLY
The Minister for Power, Shri Suresh Prabhu has been camping in Gujarat since Monday, to coordinate the assistance being given to the state government for immediate restoration of power supply in the earthquake affected regions. Immediately after the devastating earthquake hit the state on January 26th, the Power Minister had directed the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under his ministry to rush 100 technical and supervisory persons along with 15 Diesel Generating (DG) sets to restore power to meet the requirements of essential services. These PSUs were the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL)
The PSUs have also provided food items, PVC sheets, tents and blankets for the victims of the earthquake. Shri Prabhu obtained a list of the material required for restoration of power when he met the Gujarat Minister for Energy, Shri Kaushikbhai Patel in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. The required material is being obtained for supply from various sources.
Shri Prabhu visited the earthquake-affected areas of Bhuj, Anjar and Ratnal. The officials of the PSUs and the Ministry of Power accompanied him. The Minister also had discussions with the engineers of the Gujarat Electricity Board (GEB) to co-ordinate measures to be taken jointly for the immediate restoration of power for essential services.
Shri Suresh Prabhu held a meeting with the Gujarat Minister for Energy, in Ahmedabad on Tuesday evening in which a detailed action plan. The Action Plan is for short term and long-term measures for restoration of power and assistance to be provided by the Government of India and the PSUs under the Ministry of Power. These PSUs are the NTPC, PGCIL, the Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC). The Power Minister also met the Gujarat Chief Minister, Shri Keshubhai Patel.
It was decided at the meeting that the remaining towns and centres would be identified by the GEB to which power supply for essential services would be provided by this evening by utilising 14 DG sets made available by the NTPC and PGCIL. DG Sets would also be mobilised by the GEB itself. As of yesterday power supply had been partially restored at Bhuj and Anjar.
The restoration of Grid sub stations (220 KV and 132 KV) have been entrusted to PGCIL and NTPC. PGCIL and NTPC will make an assessment of the equipment required to be provided and make necessary arrangement to transport them to the sub-stations. Three 220 KV sub-stations are located in Anjar, Nanikhakhar and Nakhatrana. One 132 KV sub-station is located at Samakhiyali. In addition, PGCIL and NTPC have undertaken the responsibility of restoring six 66 KV sub-stations located at Anjar taluka. PGCIL and NTPC will take up the supply of equipment required for the sub-stations and also get the civil works executed through their own contractors without calling for tenders. The contractors will be required to complete the civil works free of cost and also undertake the installation of equipment, which would be procured and supplied by PGCIL and NTPC. The cost of equipment will be borne by the PSUs of the Ministry of Power.
Loans will be given for equipment required for restoration of other sub-stations, by the REC and the PFC. The request of the Government of Gujarat for waiver of interest on the loan of Rs. 100 crore sanctioned by REC on Monday will be considered.
The seismologically sound designs for civil construction will be provided to the Government of Gujarat after procuring them from the Government of Maharashtra.
The District of Kutch will be adopted under the Accelerated Power Development Programme (APDP) and the best class distribution districts created under the programme for sub-transmission, distribution and Renovation and Modernisation (R & M).
NTPC has agreed to provide a working capital facility of Rs. 60 crore by deferring part billing payments for February and March against issue of unsecured bonds of Rs. 60 crore.
Rs. 150 CRORE FOR GUJARAT EDUCATION RECONSTRUCTION PLAN
The Human Resource Development Ministry will provide Rs. 150 crore for Gujarat education reconstruction plan. This was announced by the Human Resource Development Minister Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi here today. Of this, Rs. 100 crore will be earmarked for elementary and secondary education and Rs. 50 crore for college and university education. The amount will be in addition to what is being given to Gujarat for various educational programmes.
The HRD Ministry has also decided that 200 creches would be established in the State, Dr. Joshi said. Besides, 50 short stay homes for women and 10 womens hostels would be set up for the shelterless women. More than 5000 new Anganwadi centres would also be opened under 24 additional Integrated Child Development Services projects in Gujarat. These would benefit about 3 lakh women and children and cost Rs. 7 crore annually. Dr. Joshi said a suitable scheme would also be started for the children rendered orphan in the earthquake.
Dr. Joshi today took a meeting with the officials of the Ministry and instructed them to extend all assistance to the quake-hit State. Teams from CSIR, Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee and Women and Child Development Department are already in the State. A team from Education Department is also going there to make an assessment.
Dr. Joshi has written to Chief Ministers, State Education Ministers and the institutions under the Ministry to provide all support in terms of physical and financial resources. He has suggested that an appeal could go out to all schools, colleges and universities for this purpose. It would be better if such efforts are consolidated State-wise before sending the contributions to the Government of Gujarat, he said.
Officials of the Ministry of HRD, Science and Technology and Ocean Development are to contribute one days salary to the Prime Ministers Relief Fund.
TRANSPORT MINISTER DONATES ONE MONTH'S SALARY
Major General (Retd.) B.C. Khanduri, Minister of State ( Independent Charge) for Road Transport & Highways has contributed one month's salary for the benefit of the victims of the recent Earthquake in Gujarat. A cheque has been sent to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund.
MINISTER OF LABOUR DONATES ONE MONTHS SALARY
The Minister of Labour Dr. Satyanarayan Jatiya has donated one months salary for the relief and rehabilitation work in Gujarat.
BSP TEAM IN EARTHQUAKE RESCUE AND RELIEF WORK
Bhilai Steel Plant on January 27, 2001 has rushed a team of 39 personnel including Excavator operators, Technicians, Welders, Gas cutters, workers and maintenance staff to Ahmedabad to join rescue and relief work in Earthquake hit areas. They have reported to the Relief Commissioner, Ahmedabad. Three Excavators and one dumper has also been sent by special train on 28th morning. The team has carried with them all essential spares like hydraulic hoses, O-rings, filters, self starters, hydraulic oil, sufficient cutting torchhes, regulators, hose pipers for keeping the equipments running.
Immediately after the earthquake the Minister of Steel appealed to steel collective to contribute generously to the PMs Relief Fund and to rush all necessary help to carry on the rescue and relief work in the affected areas. He has also appealed to the officials of the Ministry and the PSUs to contribute one days salary to the PMs Relief Fund for the earthquake victims.
"The Cabinet expressed its deep sense of sorrow and grief at the heavy loss of lives and at the magnitude of destruction caused by the earthquake in parts of Gujarat. Members of the Cabinet also observed two minutes of silence.
The request of the State Government for relief assistance has been received and action already taken to rush that assistance. The Cabinet directed that the situation will be constantly monitored by the Crisis Management Group under the Cabinet Secretary and all emergency assistance and action for rescue, relief, medical treatment and restoration of communication will be provided.
Food, medical teams, blankets and tents are being provided on an emergency basis. All necessary measures are being taken to restore power and communications as early as possible. Departments of the Govt. of India, the Armed Forces and the PSUs have been instructed to liaise with State Govt. and spare no efforts to provide immediate assistant to the affected areas."
MANEKA GANDHI OFFERS SERVICES OF INDIAN SPINAL INJURIES CENTRE FOR EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS
The Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment, Smt. Maneka Gandhi has offered the services of Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi for the treatment of people with spinal injuries as a result of the earthquake in Gujarat.
The Centre has state-of-the-art facilities for comprehensive management of spinal injuries. In a letter to the State Chief Minister Shri Keshu Bhai Patel, Smt. Gandhi said that the earthquake and the resultant collapse of buildings would have led to a number of spinal injuries and any such person could be referred to the Centre. This prestigious Centre was set up under an Indo- Italian Cooperation Project under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. The Centre has been asked to reserve ten free beds for such persons.
SHRI MAHAJAN WRITES TO URBAN DEVELOPMENT MINISTER FOR INTRODUCING LEGISLATION ON EARTHQUAKE CERTIFICATION FOR STRUCTURES IN SEISMIC ZONES
Union Minister for Information Technology & Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Pramod Mahajan has approached Urban Development Minister, Shri Jagmohan to consider a legislation that would make earthquake certification mandatory for building and structures in seismic volatile zones of the country.
In a letter to Urban Development Minister, Shri Mahajan has said that proposed legislation should make it mandatory for people to get earthquake proof certificate from the relevant certifying authorities before obtaining their occupancy certificate.
NO CPWD BUILDING COLLAPSED IN GUJARAT EARTHQUAKE
CPWD PRESENTS RS.1 LAKH FOR RELIEF WORK IN GUJARAT
CPWD engineers contributed Rs.1 lakh towards Prime Ministers Relief Fund for the earthquake victims at Gujarat. The Cheque for Rs.1 lakh was presented by the President of the Central Engineering Services Class-I (DR) Association of Central Public Works Department (CPWD) Shri Krishna Kant to Urban Development Minister Shri Jagmohan.
Shri Jagmohan asked the CPWD to bring out a booklet for general guidance having details of the precautionary measures to safeguard buildings against seismic forces. He was also informed that because of sound structural designing of CPWD buildings in Gujarat, no CPWD building including multi-storeyed buildings constructed by CPWD, collapsed in the Gujarat earthquakes or earlier earthquakes.
BROAD CONSENSUS ON REDUCING PRICE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KEROSENE AND DIESEL
1.3 CRORE LPG CONNECTIONS TO BE RELEASED IN CALENDAR YEAR 2001 : RAM NAIK
CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE WELCOME RELIEF MEASURES UNDERTAKEN BY PETROLEUM MINISTRY FOR GUJARAT EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS
The Members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas asked the Government to reduce the price difference between the kerosene and diesel as the cheaper price of kerosene acts as an incentive to be adulterated with diesel. Some Members suggested that there should be an increase in the price of kerosene while others suggested that the diesel price might also be reduced so that the difference in the prices of two products comes down. Earlier in his opening remarks at the Consultative Committee Meeting held here today, Shri Ram Naik, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas, informed that the difference between the prices of Kerosene and diesel which was only two paisa, 25 years back, has increased to Rs. 11.32 in the month of October, 1999. Even after rationalisation of prices recently the difference in the price of crude products, as of now is Rs. 9.20 per litre. The Minister underlined that due to the PDS kerosene meant for poor sections of the society, it gets diverted on account of this price difference. He added, "Not only our poor and needy do not get PDS kerosene at subsidised rates but also causes ill effects on the environment".
Shri Naik informed the Members that the Government is proposing to release 1.3 crore new LPG connections during the calendar year 2001 in order to provide more LPG connections in different parts of the country including the rural areas. He further said that the Oil Industry has identified about 700 viable locations at Block levels in the country for setting up of LPG distributorships under the Marketing Plan 1999-2000. This is in addition to 540 LPG distributorships being set up exclusively in the rural areas under marketing plan 1996-98.
In his opening address, Shri Ram Naik expressed great concern and grief over the recent devastating earthquake in Gujarat and joined the Members in observing two minutes silence for those who have lost their lives. Members welcomed the major relief initiatives launched by the Petroleum Ministry for the benefit of earthquake affected people. The Oil PSUs will contribute Rs. 40 crore towards Prime Minister's Relief Fund for the purpose. Government has approved additional supply of 45000 KL (4.5 crore litres) of Kerosene. He said that sufficient supplies of all petroleum products is being maintained to fully meet the demand. In addition, the Oil PSUs have made available DG sets, cranes, excavators, gas cutters, water tankers, transport vehicles, blankets/bedsheets, tarpaulins, medicines, food grains, etc. In addition to the donation of medicines worth several lakhs, the oil companies including IOC and ONGC have mobilised 100 volunteers, medical and para-medical personnel.
Shri Naik also told the meeting that the consortium led by Cairns Energy (India), has discovered gas and oil in the Gulf of Cambay (off-shore Gujarat) within 8 months of their first significant strike while ONGC made India's first discovery of gas in the deep waters in Krishna-Godavari Basin. He hoped that this would enthuse other oil companies also to enhance their efforts to find more and more oil and gas to meet the domestic needs.
Shri Ram Naik also informed the Members about the Road Shows held recently in India as well as abroad for attracting large investments in the second round of NELP. The members were also informed about the Government's approval for the proposal of ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) to acquire 20 per cent stake in the Sakhalin-1 offshore project located in Russia. This would help in acquiring equity oil of about 2-4 million metric tonnes and about 5-8 million standard cubic metres per day (MMSCMD) of natural gas from abroad.
The meeting was also attended by Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Shri P. Shankar, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, CMDs of Oil Companies and other senior officers of Petroleum Ministry and Oil Companies.
The following members attended the meeting: S/Shri Lal Bihari Tiwari, , Jaswant Singh Bishnol, Dr. Laxminarayan Pandey, Manibhai R. Chaudhari, Prof. Rasa Singh Rawat, Ram Singh Kaswan, N.H. Diwathe, Kishan Singh Sangwan, Col. D.R. Shandil, Jai Prakash, Dr. Sushil Kumar Indora, Kunwar Sarvaraj Singh, K.K. Kaliappan, Ram Sajiwan, Prakash V. Paranjpe, Ram Jeevan Singh, M.H. Gavit, Harpal Singh Sathi, Prof. Ram Bakhsh Singh Varma, Prof. Ram Deo Bhandari, N.R. Dasari, Satish Pradhan, Rajubhai A. Parmar, R.N. Arya and Ram Nath Kobind.
SEISMOLOGICALLY SOUND DESIGNS FOR CIVIL CONSTRUCTION HANDED OVER TO GUJARAT GOVERNMENT
Contractors have now arrived on site for executing the civil works required for restoring six 66 KV sub-stations at Anjar Taluka. This follows the formulation of the Action Plan during the meeting between the Minister for Power, Shri Suresh Prabhu and the Gujarat Minister for Energy, Shri Kaushikbhai Patel in Ahmedabad yesterday. The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) were asked to take up the civil works through their own contractors without calling for tenders. The contractors will be required to complete the civil works free of cost and also undertake the installation of equipment. The equipment will be procured and supplied by PGCIL and NTPC. The cost of equipment will be borne by the PSUs of the Ministry of Power.
In another development following the decisions taken after yesterdays meeting, seismologically sound designs for civil construction have been handed over to the Government of Gujarat after procuring them from the Government of Maharashtra.
Diesel generating sets are now in place in the quake affected areas of Gujarat to restore power to meet the requirements of essential services. The Minister for Power had ordered these sets to be sent to the State immediately after the devastating earthquake on January 26th. The sets have been provided by NTPC and PGCIL.
SMT SUMITRA MAHAJAN DONATES ONE MONTHS SALARYThe Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Smt. Sumitra Mahajan, has donated her one months salary to the Prime Ministers Relief Fund for the quake-hit people of Gujarat. A team of senior officials of the Department of Women and Child Development along with the representatives of international agencies has been deputed to the State for a first hand account of the requirements. Steps are being taken in collaboration with the State Government to resume supplies to the Anganwadi Centres which may have been disrupted by the earthquake. The Department has already sanctioned 24 additional ICDS projects for the State for the earthquake affected women and children. Under these projects, more than 5,000 Anganwadi Centres will be opened which will benefit three lakh women and childlren.
RAILWAY FAMILY CONTRIBUTES RUPEES 15 CROREThe employees of the Indian Railways and their Production Units have contributed Rs.15(fifteen) crore for the earthquake relief work in Gujarat. A cheque of this amount is being presented to the Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpai by the Railway Minister, Ms. Mamata Banerjee in Lucknow today.
In addition, the Railway Minister, Ms. Mamata Banerjee has donated her six months salary for the earthquake relief operations in Gujarat.
Besides, the Welfare Wing of the Railway Ministry is also collecting medicines, clothes, blankets and other relief material from amongst the railway families and rushing the same to the earthquake affected areas.