One More Embarassment For PDP-led Coalition: State Will Not Get Back Its Power Projects

6 June 2015
Kashmir Reader
Wasim Khalid

Srinagar: The government of India has said it will not return two power projects owned by National Hydel Power Corporation to the state, which comes as one more setback for the PDP. Sources said the power ministry of GoI has communicated to the state government that there was no question of returning any power project to the state. 'The centre has told the state government that it can build its own power projects in the state. But it declined to transfer Dul Hasti and Uri hydro projects back to government citing financial problems,' a source in power development department said. 'After response from the New Delhi, our government has gone silent over the issue,' he added. While entering into an alliance, PDP and BJP had said both partners will work together to get back at least two power projects. The state currently gets only 12% of the total power production from these projects as royalty. On April 10, deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh had asked the government of India to transfer Dulhasti and Uri projects from the NHPC to the state administration. 'The BJP-PDP coalition government in the state has a development agenda which hinges around power sector and to seek transfer of Dulhasti and Uri hydropower projects to the state is our top priority,' Singh had stated at a conference of Power, Renewable Energy and Mines ministers of states and union territories at Guwahati in Assam. On April 28, a group of ministers led by Singh and including rural development minister Abdul Haq Khan, PHE minister Sukhnandan Kumar and finance minister Dr Haseeb Drabu met prime minister Narendra Modi and requested him to expedite the return of power projects. When Kashmir Reader asked Haq Khan about the GoI's refusal to return power projects, he said the Prime Minister had 'not said no to our demand'. 'He told us that you can discuss the matter with the Centre in this regard,' Khan told Kashmir Reader. 'He also told us that utilize the maximum water resources in the state to harness electricity.' Asked whether Prime Minister had said 'yes' to their demand, Khan said the issue of return of the power projects 'is old and it can't be resolved in just three months'. 'We have to negotiate these issues. We have to set up a mechanism,' he said. The latest snub is one more blow to the PDP. Like return of power projects, it apparently had reached an agreement with the BJP on several contentious issues such as AFSPA, talks with Pakistan and Hurriyat, and flood relief money. So far, its partner has let PDP down on all these issues. 'People can have a different opinion regarding issues, but it does not mean that Agenda of Alliance has died down. The agenda is intact and the negotiations are going on,' said Haq Khan.