Cabinet Sub-Committee to work out modalities for taking Salal project back26 May 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: State Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, this morning at summer capital of the State, constituted Sub-Committee to work out the modalities for taking back Salal Hydroelectric Project from National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd (NHPC) and examine the terms and conditions of other power projects with the NHPC in the State. Authoritative sources told EXCELSIOR that Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Taj Mohi-ud-Din, apprised the Cabinet about a decision No.537 dated December 15, 1980 pertaining to the Salal Hydroelectric Project and said that present terms and conditions being followed by the NHPC are contradictory to the actual decision taken by the Cabinet. The Cabinet was also apprised that as per the original terms and conditions, which were approved by the Cabinet in 1980 and agreed to by the Government of India at the time of construction of the project, J&K is entitled to get half of the power generated from time to time by the Salal project at the generation cost and the State Government is at liberty to sell any surplus power out of its 50 per cent share to any State. Moreover, the profits earned from the sale of the balance 50 per cent power will be shared between the State Government and the Government of India equally. The original terms and conditions also state that ownership of the project will revert to the State Government after a suitable period on payment of deprecated cost in accordance with the J&K Electricity Supply Act, 1971, the Cabinet was told. Since the Salal Project got fully deprecated in 2003, its ownership is required to be reverted to the J&K Government from NHPC by paying 10 per cent of the project cost strictly in accordance with the original terms and conditions, which were not followed ever since the project started generating electricity in 1987, the Cabinet was further informed. After threadbare discussion on the issue, the Cabinet constituted its Sub-Committee to work out the modalities for taking back Salal project from the NHPC so that the case is vigorously taken up with the Union Government, sources said, adding 'besides Salal Project, the Sub-Committee will also examine in detail the terms and conditions of other projects with the NHPC like Dul Hasti and Uri-I'. Minister for Finance, Abdul Rahim Rather will head the Sub-Committee, which is comprised of Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Taj Mohi-ud-Din, Minister for Law, Ali Mohammad Sagar and Minister for Tourism and Culture, Nawang Rigzin Jora. The Cabinet Sub-Committee will submit report within a period of about one month. The Cabinet also confirmed preparation of Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) for the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar by M-s RITES Ltd on the terms and conditions and other operational details-fee structure as finalized by the committee of officers constituted in August 2010. The Planning and Development Department was authorized to sign the necessary Memorandum of Understanding with M-s RITES on behalf of the State Government. The Comprehensive Mobility Plan is likely to be ready within a period of eight to nine months from the day MoU is signed between Planning and Development Department and RITES. The Cabinet approved use of 2.09 Hectares of forest land for construction of storage tanks at Dardpora-B and Sajan Sar Dardpora in Kehmil Forest Division by Executive Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control Division, Handwara. It also approved use of 3 Hectares of plantation area of Social Forestry Department under VWL Aghar-I Aghar-II, Pai-III, Karwa and Bhaga Strip Plantations along Katra-Reasi Road by GREF. In another decision, the Cabinet gave approval to creation of Electric Maintenance and Rural Electrification (EM&RE) Division at District Headquarter Kupwara comprising Electric Sub Division Kupwara, Trehgam and Tangdhar (Karnah). It also confirmed creation of 16 posts for the newly created EM&RE Division of Kupwara, which include one each post of Executive Engineer, Draftsman, AAO, Senior Assistant, Accounts Assistant, Junior Assistant, Revenue Examiner, Driver, two each posts of Assistant Engineer and Orderly Cum Chowkidars besides four posts of Junior Engineers. The Cabinet confirmed the appointment of Mohammad Ashraf Mir, the then Additional Secretary, Law Department as Secretary Legislative Council on deputation without prejudice to the seniority of other members of the service.