Modi’s Varanasi visit cancelled due to heavy rain

Lucknow, June 28 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s day-long visit to his parliamentary constituency Varanasi on Sunday was cancelled following heavy rain in the region.

Modi was very keen to visit the region but the weather played truant, Union Power Minister Piyush said this at a hurriedly convened press conference.

Asked when will the prime minister be in Varanasi next, the minister said the dates would be reworked soon by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Modi was to launch the Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS), one of the flagship programmes of the power ministry, to ensure 24×7 power for all.

Heavy rains have been lashing the eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh since Saturday. The venue of the launch of the IPDS and another where Modi was to address a public rally were inundated with water.

The scheme, announced in the 2014-15 union budget, is aimed at strengthening of the sub-transmission network, metering, IT application, customer care services, provision of solar panels and completion of the ongoing work of the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (RAPDRP).

The union government will provide budgetary support of Rs.45,800 crore over the entire implementation period of the IPDS.

Of the total amount, Rs.1,067 crore has been sanctioned for Uttar Pradesh, including Rs.572 crore for Varanasi.

The project envisages converting area overhead lines into underground cabling in areas around temples and ghats in Varanasi city.

The scheme includes upgradation of electrical assets at sub-centres, lines and distribution transformers, capacity enhancement and renewal of the old substations and installation of roof-top solar panels in government buildings.

The IPDS will help in reduction in aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses, establishment of IT enabled energy accounting/ auditing system, improvement in billed energy based on metered consumption and improvement in collection efficiency.

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