Armed with new law, JK to review NHPC operations
‘Status Of Land Under Power Projects Unresolved’
Srinagar, Nov 2: After the state legislature cleared decks for government to charge National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) for harnessing the state’s water resources, the power generating company would now require getting a fresh clearance from the state government for continuing its operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Under the new law being framed after ratification of, Jammu and Kashmir Water Resources (Regulation and Management Act), NHPC would require signing an agreement with the state government specifying the status of land on which the power projects have been set up and also on the return of the projects to the state.
“Though the successive regimes in Jammu and Kashmir had signed agreements with the NHPC over the projects, there is no mention whether the land was leased out to them. As of now, to be precise, the NHPC is illegally occupying the land. The MOUs signed make it clear that the Corporation will require returning the projects to the state after a certain period of time following recovery of construction cost and benefits under rules. But it was never pursued by the state government,” sources said.
Minister for PHE, Taj Mohi-ud-Din told Greater Kashmir that the new rules would be strict and binding on all the power generating companies in JK including NHPC.
“Unless NHPC and other companies get clearance from the state’s Power Development Department they will not be provided license for harnessing water resources,” Taj said. “The criminal negligence by the successive regimes in JK has cost us dearly. Though various NHPC projects like Kishanganga, Uri-I and II, Bursar, Sewa, Pakal Dul, Nimoo Bazgo and Chutak have come up in the state, mistakes were committed while issuing licenses for them (power projects) without any specific agreements. There has been no stress on return of the projects to the state though it is mentioned in the agreement,” the minister said.
Taj said the new law would ensure all the required documents are submitted to the regulatory authority before fresh licenses are issued.
After the rules are framed, the proposed law, as a formality, would go to the Governor for his consent. “Since it was a money bill and involved financial implication, the bill could not have been tabled in the Assembly without Governor’s consent,” officials said.
Under the law the NHPC, JKSPDC and other power generation companies would be charged for using state’s water resources for power generation. The move is likely to increase the state’s revenue resources by Rs 850 crore during first year.
The government would set up a regulatory body, State Water Resources Regulatory Authority, which would decide on fixing the liability and tariff rates for water usage.
The Jammu and Kashmir government, Taj said was not taking any royalty from the NHPC for its power projects in the state, but had signed a memorandum of understanding as “equity partners.”
“We are not taking any royalty from NHPC. We have signed a MoU as equity partners and get 12 per cent share of the power generated from these projects,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 2 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 2 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 3 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST
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