Bring back Power Projects

March 8, 2017 0 Comments EDITORIAL 254 Views
Bring back Power Projects

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti led coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir has been beating the drums over bringing back the massive power projects which are lying with the NHPC- a company which most of the  politicians, epically senior Congress leader, Taj Mohi-ud-din termed as the India’s  ‘East India Company in Kashmir.’ The government said it’s going to frame a policy for return of 10 power projects from the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) to the State. The transfer of Dulhasti and Uri power projects has already been taken up with Government of India (GoI). It remains to be seen if the PDP-led government can indeed secure the power projects back from NHPC or meekly surrender before Government of India in this regard like the previous governments. The exploitation of J&K’s water resources and the role of NHPC in running the power projects in the state has been one of the most debated issues in the recent years. The civil society has been waging rigorous campaign for reclaiming the projects. However, despite the clamour, New Delhi seems to be indifferent to the public concern with Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal bluntly opposing the J&K government’s demand of approving a share in profits of NHPC to Jammu and Kashmir. The officials have ruled out any royalty agreements between State and NHPC on Corporation-owned projects in the State while making no assurance on transfer of two hydropower projects –Dul Hasti and Uri-I. His predecessor had also suggested J&K government to start work on new power stations instead of seeking return of NHPC-run projects. Sushil Kumar Shinde had said it is better to go in for new projects. The fact is that despite talking about reclaiming projects from NHPC, the government has not pursued the issue with Centre. It has failed to follow up its concern and claims with concrete action. One of the main reasons why NHPC could get away with exploitation of J&K’s water resources was the lack of action from the government. Even the former State Irrigation Minister, Taj Mohiuddin admitted that the successive governments have been responsible for exploitation of the water resources. It is high time that the political leadership of the state rectifies the blunders of past regimes and holds NHPC accountable for using the state’s water resources.

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