Update on India’s States: August 30, 2017

Haryana shut down by riots over conviction of sect leader and Mumbai shut down by rains; MNRE urges states to honor wind power contracts; Tamil Nadu’s ruling party heals its split; UP threatens maximum penalties against power thieves; Haryana allows women to work at night; and more.

Center-State relations

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has written to seven states urging them to use their powers under the Electricity Act to force electricity regulatory commissions to honor power purchase agreements (PPAs) with wind energy producers. The fall in wind energy tariffs since February has prompted many commissions to attempt to renegotiate PPAs signed when tariffs were higher. Source: Economic Times

Nothing critical to report this week.

Nothing critical to report this week.

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal approved a Delhi government proposal to take over 449 private schools — including some of the city’s most prominent — that have failed to refund excess fees despite government orders. The proposal gives the schools two weeks to show cause why they should not be taken over by the government. Delhi had imposed school fee controls following the Sixth Pay Commission. Source: Economic Times

Nothing critical to report this week.


Haryana witnessed widespread rioting that resulted in 38 deaths after sect leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of rape by a special court in Panchkula. The state government had cut off mobile internet and text services in the area and imposed a curfew, but was criticized for not invoking Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which allows local officials to ban assemblies, until after the riots had begun. Source: Indian Express, FirstPost

Industries in Haryana can now apply for an exemption from laws preventing them from employing women during the night shift (7 p.m. to 6 a.m.) Employers must renew exemptions yearly. Source: Indian Express


The state government unveiled its Karnataka Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) Policy with plans to promote Bengaluru as a global AVGC hub. Source: The Hindu In Detail: AVGC Policy

The state agriculture department has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Microsoft India to develop a unique ‘farm price forecasting model’ to help farmers, administrators and other stakeholders understand market behaviour in advance. The model incorporates data on supply and demand but also on weather, rainfall, and other external factors. Source: The Hindu

Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have formed a joint venture, Kerwa Coal Limited Company, to explore a new coal block in the Korba district of Chhattisgarh. The Madhya Pradesh government will have a 49 percent stake in the venture. 25 percent of output will be reserved for micro, small, and medium enterprises. Source: Free Press Journal

Mumbai was paralyzed August 28 and 29 by heavy rainfall that caused significant flooding throughout the city. Most arteries and public transportation were closed, and flights into and out of the city were delayed. Source: Times of India

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a significant victory in elections to the Municipal Corporation of Mira-Bhayander, north of Mumbai. The BJP won 61 of the Corporation’s 95 seats, nearly doubling its 2012 tally. The Shiv Sena came second with 22 seats, up from 15, and the Nationalist Congress Party went from 26 seats to none. Source: Livemint

State-owned distribution companies (discoms) in Rajasthan are negotiating to reduce by 50 percent a late payment surcharge on overdue payments to wind power generators. The state power regulator directed discoms to clear all late payments to wind power providers within three months. Source: Financial Express

The two factions of the governing All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) merged, bringing at least a temporary end to the political drama in Tamil Nadu following the death of former chief minister Jayalalithaa. Former chief minister Panneerselvam will be appointed party convenor and deputy chief minister, and given the finance portfolio and several other ministerial slots related to urban development. Source: Economic Times

The Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Ltd (TS-Genco) has decided to retire eight outmoded generating units with a total capacity of 720 megawatts (MW) at its Kothagudem Thermal Power Station by March 2019. The units were built between 1966 and 1978. Source: The Hindu

The Telangana government has decided to conduct a comprehensive land survey in the state, the first since the 1930s, to create a clear record of plots and ownership. Following the survey, land records will be posted online. Source: Indian Express

The state government has ordered that all procurement of goods and services be done through the Government e-Market portal, a central initiative to move government procurement online and make it more transparent. Source: Economic Times

The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to use the stringent National Security Act and Goondas Act to prosecute anyone who obstructs electricity officials investigating power theft. The laws allow for preventive detention of up to a year and detention without bail or trial. Source: Money control

The West Bengal cabinet approved the sale of the state’s 47 percent stake in Metro Dairy Ltd to its private partner Keventer Agro Ltd for around $13.2 million. This is the first divestment from a partially state-owned enterprise under Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Source: Livemint

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called an all-parties meeting on August 29 to discuss the situation in the state’s northern hills. The area has been suffering for over two months from an indefinite strike by groups seeking a separate ‘Gorkhaland’ state. Source: News18

Best of the Rest

Jammu and Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) has terminated 30 planned hydropower projects totalling over 400 MW of capacity despite previous claims that work on the projects had started years ago. A government evaluation in late 2014 had stated that tenders had been issued for 28 of the projects. Source: Kashmir Monitor

Chhattisgarh

The Chhattisgarh government has decided to distribute over 5.5 million free smartphones to state residents. Phones will be registered in the name of a female member of the family. In the first phase, 5 million phones will be distributed to families living below the poverty line and in rural areas, as well as to college students. In the second phase, beginning after 2019, phones will be distributed to families in villages of less than 1,000 people in areas that lack network coverage. Source: Business Standard

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