WATER WAR: JK to sue Punjab
Jammu, Feb 14: While neighbouring Punjab continues to occupy around 15000 acres of state land `illegally’, Jammu and Kashmir government is contemplating to sue Punjab government for Rs 8599 crore losses suffered by it during the last 20-years.
“The state government has finally decided to file a recovery suit of Rs 8599 crore against state of Punjab, which has denied due share of power, compensation of land, employment and water over the years to JK,” highly placed sources told Greater Kashmir on Friday.
Thein Dam, renamed as Ranjit Sagar dam, having height of around 147 mts was built at Thien Village across the Ravi river 25 km upstream of Madhavpur in the year 1989.
“The proposal to sue the Punjab Government is at the final stage and awaits cabinet nod,” sources said adding, “Once approved the state will approach Supreme Court of India for the recovery of its dues”.
They said that the state has suffered a loss of Rs 2500 crore on account of power, which was to be supplied by the Punjab government after commissioning of the project. Beside this the state has also suffered a loss of Rs 6250 crore on account of production of food grains, sources added.
“Around 15000 acres of land has been illegally occupied by the neighbouring state”, sources said adding, “The land was to be leased out to Punjab and as per the agreement between the two states an amount of Rs 132.41 crores was to be paid to Jammu and Kashmir”.
Though an advance payment of Rs 65 crore was made at the initial stage, another installment of Rs 67.41 crore has not been released till date. Punjab later scraped the agreement by Punjab Termination of Agreement Act in 2004 without consulting the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources said that over the years the state government remained non-committal towards realization of the dues leading to huge losses to the state exchequer.
It was reliably learnt that the minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Taj Mohiuddin has prepared the final proposal to initiate the recovery suit against the neighbouring state which would be put before the state cabinet for its consent.
The state law department had earlier turned down the proposal saying that the state was not in a position to recover the dues on account of scraping of the agreement by Punjab.
“However, after hectic efforts, the law department finally gave its consent to get the opinion from a panel of legal luminaries and the ministry was asked to proceed with the matter”, sources added.
They said that opinions were sought from Justice (Rtd) VN Khare and Arvind Saran, former Solicitor General of India, on the matter and both of them were of the view that the state has every right to recover its dues and losses suffered by it over the years.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 14 Feb 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 14 Feb 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 15 Feb 2010 00:00:00 IST
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