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HC ire on Giridih power woes

Ranchi, July 28: Jharkhand High Court today directed the state power board to file an affidavit to explain the process of obtaining an NOC from the forest department to promote electrification in three blocks of Giridih.

The bench of Justices D. N. Patel and P. P. Bhatt was hearing a PIL filed by one Upendra Prasad Singh complaining about erratic power supply in Gawan, Tisri and Raj Dhanwar blocks of Giridih.

Singh alleged that no work on electrification had been carried out in the three blocks and that people were reeling under an acute power crisis.

The bench, which was annoyed with an earlier declaration of JUVNL chairman S.N. Verma, asked how a tender could be floated without obtaining necessary clearances from the department.

The bench asked JUVNL to furnish names of officials who had given administrative and technical sanction to float tenders in the three blocks. The next hearing is on August 11.

Verma had earlier filed an affidavit to inform the court that work on electrification of the three blocks had been handed over to DVC.

He had said that of 638 electric poles, 531 had been erected. However, 7.337 hectares of land, which was under the forest department, needed to be acquired and a clearance was pending. A sum of Rs 33.76 lakh had also been deposited with the department to obtain necessary clearance and an NOC for DVC to proceed.

Verma mentioned that high tension electricity wires would cross a strip of land with railway tracks. Necessary permission would have to be sought from the railways before the poles are erected to fix overhead high power lines.

However, the bench was not satisfied with his explanation, and asked JUVNL for the names of officials responsible for the faulty tender process.

The court also directed Singh to add DVC as a party in the case to explain the actual progress of the work done.