NC Demands Re-negotiation Of NHPC Agreements

NC Demands Re-negotiation Of NHPC Agreements

8 March 2012
Rising Kashmir
Ishfaq Tantry

Srinagar: The ruling National Conference Thursday demanded that all agreements with National Hydro-Electric Corporation (NHPC) be re-negotiated as the company has earned millions from the power projects in J&K. “The agreements which the State had entered into NHPC need to be re-negotiated. NHPC, which is now being called as East India Company, has so far earned millions from different power projects in J&K. In return the State gets only 12% share,” senor NC leader and MLA Handwara Choudary Ramzan said while taking part in the discussion on Budget-2012 in Assembly. He said it is need of the hour that all agreements with NHPC are re-negotiated. “All the power projects should to be taken back from NHPC gradually”, he said and urged Finance Minister Abdur Rahim Rather to start the process of re-negotiation with the power company. “The government needs to do more to reduce T&D losses in power sector, which have reached upto 72 percent,” NC leader said and patted Rather for focusing on agriculture and tourism sector in the budget. He said cross-LoC trade should be given a fillip by establishing banking facility at Salamabad, Uri and Chakanda Bagh, Poonch. Taking part in the budget discussion, expelled BJP leader Chaman Lal Gupta said government should turn its attention towards the problems of the agriculture technocrats (ReZ), who have been demanding their regularization since long. He said exempting agriculture products like fertilizers and fungicides from VAT won’t have much effect as the prices of these goods have already increased manifold over the years. Congress’ Viqar Rasool said international and evening flights should be started from Srinagar Airport. “Srinagar Airport has been merely named as International airport. I urge the government to start international and evening flights from this airport. Besides, it should also expand and upgrade the existing infrastructure at Jammu airport”, he said. Feroz Khan of Kargil highlighted the alleged discrimination being meted out with Kargil and Leh regions. “The allocation of funds for Kargil and Leh in the budget is very less and it should be increased. The budget size for Ladakh region should be increased and the Kargil airport should also be upgraded,” he said. Hakim Yasin of PDF emphasized the importance of water resources and its potential for contributing to economic development of the state. “These resources have enough potential. We can produce a lot of electricity by harnessing these natural resources, which can then sustain our industry. While allocating funds in different sectors in different constituencies, care should be taken that the development is equitable,” he said. Abdul Majeed Wani, MLA Doda suggested for developing an alternative road to Srinagar-Jammu highway . “The alternative road can be developed through erstwhile Doda district,” he said. “The traffic jams on Srinagar-Jammu highway during Amaranth Yatra and winter creates problems for the people. I urge government to create an alternative link passing through Doda district,” he said. He further said Jammu city, Srinagar city and rural areas cannot be taken at par while allocating funds for connectivity purposes. NC MLA Radhey Sham appreciated the focus shown by Finance Minister on primary sectors like agriculture and gender budgeting. “There should be equitable distribution of funds and grants. The rehabilitation of border area migrants has been ignored in the budget”, he said.