Govt issues notices to NHPC, JKSPDC
Remedying Exploitation Of Water Resources
MUDDASIR ALI/SUMIT HAKHOO
Srinagar/Jammu, Nov 20: On the heels of passing the new law for regulation and management of the state’s water resources, Jammu and Kashmir government has served notices to National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and State Power Development Corporation (SPDC) asking them to produce “all necessary documents relating to lease of land for construction of power projects.”
Following the Raj Bhawan assent to the Water Resources (Regulation and Management) Bill, Jammu and Kashmir government issued notices to the government of India subsidiary NHPC and other power companies to complete the formalities within time-bound manner for continuing their operations in the state.
To begin with the NHPC and state owned JKSPDC have been asked to apply for license which would make them eligible for harnessing the state’s water resources. The government, according to sources, has set six-month deadline for the power producers to submit the documents, “before fresh licenses for using the state’s waters could be issued to them.”
“They have been issued notices under Section-2 of the new Act. As per the Act, every power generating company will be required to pay license fee of Rs 5 lakh for a single hydroelectric project. The companies including NHPC will have to complete the formalities within six months,” minister for PHE Taj Mohi-ud-din told Greater Kashmir.
In this connection, sources said, a high level state delegation held detailed deliberations with senior officials of NHPC here this week and discussed provisions of the new law and the requirements the Corporation needed to fulfil for future usage of the state waters.
The companies including NHPC which are being accused of exploiting the state’s water resources would have to produce memorandum of understanding signed with the state government and lease-deed for regularizing their operations.
“They will have to complete formalities at any cost otherwise the state government will be forced to stop water supply to them and as per the law the government has the powers to impose fine on them.
The control lies with the state government now,” Taj said.
The existing power generation capacity of NHPC in JK is more than 1560 megawatts from three power projects, highest booty drawn by the corporation from any state.
It is planning to set up seven more projects in J&K, three of them in joint venture with the state government, which will take NHPC power generation in JK to a whopping 4358 mws.
After the Raj Bhawan nod to the Jammu and Kashmir Water Resources Regulation and Management Act, it became a law.
“The law is in vogue from November 11 this year, which means the state government has already started charging the companies for harnessing water resources in Jammu and Kashmir. The new Act has already been published in government gazette,” official sources said.
Under the law the companies would be charged a minimum of two paisa per cubic meter for using water for power generation.
The proposed legislation which was tabled in the state legislature by Taj Mohiuddin during last session in the summer capital, was unanimously approved by the law makers.
Taj said NHPC has been asked to produce information about the eight projects which included three old projects, three upcoming projects and two projects in Ladakh region.
The government is expecting to generate revenue of more than Rs 850 crore annually from charging the companies for water usage.
Taj said if these steps would have been taken earlier, J&K could have generated hundreds of crores of rupees over the years. “What oil is to the Arab countries, water could have been to our state, if only the successive governments would have taken some pains to generate revenue from its water resources,” he said.
The new Act will consolidate the law relating to use of water, measurement, construction, control and management of works with respect to water storage, conservation and protection, experts said.
The PHE department would be setting up Water Resources Regulatory Authority to decide on the rates for the use of water.
“It might take some time to set up the Authority. But the law provides for the government to decide on the tariff rates which will cut the money losses,” Taj said.
For the first time, the companies would be liable in case of a disaster caused due to faulty design in hydro power projects owned by them in Jammu and Kashmir.
Besides, under the new Act, hydraulic experts would be inspecting the dams and other facilities built on the projects for any threat to the human life and environment.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 20 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 20 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 21 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST
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