By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 17 Jun: On the fourth day of the Uttarakhand assembly session, today, the Opposition created a ruckus in the House over the Agnipath scheme. Members raised slogans in the House demanding immediate withdrawal of the scheme. It may be recalled that the Modi Government has announced the Agnipath scheme for contractual recruitment of matriculate youth of age between 17 years and 21 years in the Armed Forces for a period of 4 years. This announcement, however, has resulted in an Opposition backed agitation across several states by the youth.
Congress members said that thousands of people of Uttarakhand were in the army and that 60 percent of the population here was dependent on the pension received from the army. They claimed that this scheme would affect the regular recruitment in the armed forces and demanded that the government withdraw this decision immediately.
The Congress members claimed that the government was playing with the future of the youth and therefore the decision should be withdrawn. They asserted that the decision of the government had angered the youth across the country, who had come out on the streets in protest against this decision. After this the opposition staged a walkout from the house. Later, the Uttarakhand Appropriation Bill 2022 was passed in the house.
Earlier, the issue of power crisis in the state was also discussed. Deputy Leader of the Congress Legislative Party, Bhuvan Kapri alleged that there is a huge power crisis in the state. The Power Corporation is resorting to undeclared power cuts. Kapri said that under construction hydropower projects were held up even as the government had to buy power at very high rates. He claimed that the government is not ready to allocate sufficient budget to hydropower projects to enable their early completion. He also demanded that the government provide land to people for the solar power projects.
Sumit Hridayesh demanded that the government develop solar power parks on barren lands. He added that unannounced power cuts being resorted to by the Uttarakhand Power Corporation were condemnable. MLA Ravi Bahadur said that, today, Korea had come up with hydrogen fuelled vehicles while Israel was manufacturing water in its labs, even as in India, states like Uttarakhand are still resorting to announced power cuts, and in the rural areas and the hills, people were facing power cuts of up to 8 to 10 hours every day. He added that so called dead lines were also running currents in them in Uttarakhand and as a result one 29 year old youth got scorched due to current flowing in an 11 KV line in Jwalapur, which had been declared dead by the department. He demanded that an inquiry be set up as to why this happened and the guilty officials be punished.
Jhabreda Congress MLA Virendra Kumar said that this power shortage was the result of the short-sightedness of the government. If arrangements had been made well in time, such shortage of power would not have happened. The Uttarakhand Power Corporation had a huge shortage of staff and that there were not enough linesmen with the Corporation. He demanded that the Citizen’s Charter be pasted in the power stations so that the consumers become aware of their rights and force the Corporation and the government to improve the services.
Bhagwanpur Congress MLA Mamta Rakesh said that Uttar Pradesh too had a BJP Government but there the power supply situation was much better. This evoked laughter in the House. She added that, in Uttarakhand, the situation was much worse and there were huge power cuts. Due to power cuts, the farmers were unable to run their tubewells and irrigate their fields. She also claimed that it was taking months in Uttarakhand to get new power connections. In case of any transformers blowing up or being damaged, they were not being replaced in time and that the department depends on outsourced linesmen.