Govt Declares War On NHPC

Govt Declares War On NHPC

5 June 2011
Rising Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: Declaring war against National Hydro Electric Power Corporation (NHPC), the PHE minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din Sunday said State has not leased any property to the company and pledged to recover Rs 934 crore as water charges from India’s largest hydro power producer.He said the government will seek compensation of Rs 6700 crore from Punjab for the losses incurred on the State. “Kashmir’s water resources were in the safe hands now following the first-ever Water Resources Regulatory and Management Act 2010,” Minister for PHE and Irrigation, Taj Mohiudin said while addressing a seminar titled “Management of Water Resources in JK and State’s Responsibility” organized by Jammu and Kashmir Citizens Welfare Council at SP Higher Secondary School, here. He said the government has incorporated some clauses from the water act of Queensland in its Water Act. “The Himachal Pradesh was also adopting the same law,” he said. “NHPC is supposed to pay Rs 934 crore, first installment of the water charges to the State government. The money would be spent by the government on reclaiming projects like Uri-I. Next year, the water usage cost will touch Rs 1100 crores. We can utilize the money in generating more electricity,” the minister said. He hoped that next year two power projects of 500 MW each can be got back by the State. “Within next five years, the State can get back 1000 MW worth of power projects out of this revenue,” he said. Alleging that NHPC has accused him of harassment, he said, “I have adopted the legal way. The Water Act has been passed and if they call it harassment, let it be. NHPC was behaving like East India Company, which we won’t allow”. About reclaiming of 690 MW Salal project, Taj said he somehow managed to obtain the duplicate copy of 1975 cabinet order. “The then chief minister, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah had done a good deal with GoI by fixing 50 per cent of the share of the project and 50 per cent of the total electricity generation. However, we are surprised, who replaced 50 per cent with 12 per cent,” he said adding the good thing is that JK has not leased out any property to NHPC. “The Salal project was conceived by Maharaja Pratap Singh in 1920 and the work on it was started in 1972. Power Development Department is working hard to find the original documents of 1975 cabinet order,” he said. About the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), PHE minister said the Interdominion treaty of river sharing took place between the Governor’s of India and Pakistan in 1948. “IWT was a follow up in 1960. The then head of JK, Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad raised the issue with the GoI and sought compensation,” he said. He said government has built a strong case to declare “null and void” the “unilateral agreement” of the Punjab government about Thein dam. “After the accord with the then CM Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the Punjab government violated all rules. The land acquired for the Thein dam comprises 133000 acres that could produce 266000 tons of food. However, in 2004, Punjab government passed a bill cancelling all agreements with JK unilaterally. We are now preparing a case to seek Rs 6500 crore agricultural losses and Rs 200 crore power losses from the Punjab government, which has encroached on our sovereignty,” Taj said. About Pakistan, he said, “The country would cease to exist if water flowing through J&K into its territory is stopped. Their main concern is irrigation and they are not bothered about tapping the water for producing electricity. The water that reaches Pakistan goes into the sea. Even if they feel that the flow of water has decreased they can send their teams for the inspection.”


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