J&K Hires Consultant To Assess IWT Losses

J&K Hires Consultant To Assess IWT Losses

2 April 2013
Kashmir Observer


Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government has hired a consultant group to assess the losses suffered by the state due to the Indus Water Treaty which shares the regionís rivers between India and Pakistan. The state cabinet on Tuesday approved the Power Development Corporationís proposal to contract the Halcrow Consulting India Pvt Ltd to quantify the losses since the treaty came into force in 1960. Ostensibly undertaken to make a case for compensation from the centre, the decision comes after several years of ministerial rhetoric of taking back power projects run by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation on Jammu and Kashmirís water resources. Halcrow was said to have shown interest in conducting the assessment by submitting a contract of Rs 1.89 crore to the Power Development Corporation whose earlier tendering process had drawn a low response. A cabinet sub-committee examining the issue of harnessing J and Kís water resources by the NHPC had put the stateís annual losses due to the Indus Water Treaty at Rs 18,000 crore. Todayís decision is understood to be a fallout of the now-forgotten Working Groups set up by the prime minister, Dr. Manmoham Singh, during the tenure of the stateís previous coalition government. A monitoring committee set up by the state to study the recommendations of the economic development-related Working Group headed by Dr. Rangarajan had asked the Power Development Department to assess the stateís losses under the Treaty. The committee had pitched for raising the stateís share of the power generated by the NHPC from 12 per cent to 25 per cent. Other hilly states on the NHPC map have already posed a demand of hiking their share to 30 per cent, arguing that water was their only major natural resource, the committee had said.