Saturday , 22 July 2017
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GoI not serious in returning power projects to J&K;NC and Congress

While the returning of power projects from National Hydroelectric Power Corporation has purportedly became one of the bottlenecks between PDP and BJP to continue their alliance, senior leaders of National Conference and Congress, who were part of a committee on return of the projects, said that the Government of India was not serious to hand over the assets to the state.
National Conference senior leader and former finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather told KNS that the NC-led coalition formed a cabinet sub-committee in 2011 on return of power projects and submitted the report to the Government of India.
“The state can buy back the projects and arrange the money for it, but GoI should first agree that NHPC can return these projects. But so far the centre has not shown any indication of seriousness,” Rather told KNS.
Senior Congress leader and former PHE minister Taj Mohiddin told KNS that GoI never seemed serious to give the projects back to the state.
“When I was PHE minister in NC-Congress government, I vehemently fought to return and buy back the power projects for the state. But I had to pay the price for it. And center government did not take the issue seriously,” Taj told KNS.
He said that state has all legal documents and agreements of these power projects and can fight the case legally rather than make it a political point scoring game.
Taj said that when Punjab can take their fight on Tawi River to Supreme Court, when the Jammu and Kashmir state can’t do.
“Our state can take the legal course and approach the Apex court of the country for return of power projects from Government of India,” he said.
Taj said that as per the Water Usage Law of the state, NHPC has deposited Rs 3600 crore in the state account, so from this money power projects can be bought back.
The return of power projects has always been a contentious issue between the state and the GoI. And all the major state political parties and governments have raised political pitches over it during elections campaigns.
In 2011, the then NC and Congress coalition formed a cabinet sub-committee, headed by then finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather and whose other members were then PHE minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din, then Law minister Ali Mohammad Sagar and then Tourism and Culture minister Nawang Rigzin Jora, to study the terms and conditions of the agreements under which seven power projects in the state have been handed over to National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).
The committee had submitted a report to the GoI over buying back power projects from NHPC as the then MoS for power Viqar Rasool had informed the Assembly in 2013.
The seven power projects included 790-MW Salal, 390-MW Dulhasti, 480-MW Uri-I and 120-MW Sewa –II is being controlled by the NHPC. Besides, it is executing other 7-10 projects in the state including 280-MW Uri-II, 300-MW Kishanganga, 44-MW Chutak, 45-MW Nimoo Bazgoo.
But the GoI has categorically denied the state that it will return NHPC-held power projects.
GoI power minister, Piyush Goyal, while replying to Tariq Hamid Kara’s query on power projects in Lok Sabha last year said: ‘‘Union Power Ministry can’t transfer power projects owned by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) to Jammu and Kashmir.’’