PIL filed for return of power projects
Civil Society Seeks HC Intervention To Prevent 'Wanton Loot' By NHPC
Srinagar, July 26: A civil society group here has approached the High Court seeking its intervention for return of 790 MW-Salal and 480 MW-Uri-I power projects from National Hydroelectric Power Corporation to Jammu and Kashmir, saying the schemes have been fully depreciated.
In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed before Division Bench comprising Chief Justice, Justice FM Kalifullah and Justice Virender Singh, the group has also sought court’s intervention against “wanton loot” of Jammu and Kashmir’s water resources by National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and the “silence” maintained by the state government.
Besides, the petitioners have prayed for detailed information from Government of India, state government and the NHPC over “violation” of terms and conditions reached over execution of various power projects including Salal, Dulhasti, and Uri-I, and the losses caused to state exchequer.
“We pray for directions from the Court to NHPC and Government of India to return Salal and Uri-I to JK as the same have been fully depreciated,” the PIL mentions.
While Salal is located on River Chenab in Jammu region, Uri-I has been constructed on Jhelum in Baramulla district of Kashmir. 390-MW Dulhasti is set up in Kishtwar district on Chenab.
The first phase of Salal (345 MW) was commissioned in 1987 and its second phase started generation from 1993. The 790-MW Salal produces around 3,300 million units of energy annually out of which JK is getting 400 million units (12 percent) as royalty while the state is purchasing another 750 million units (23 percent) annually from the project at generation cost.
Uri-I (480 MW) produces 2587 million units of energy annually and Dulhasti generates 1928 Million Units of energy annually. State is again getting a meager 12 percent energy as royalty from these projects.
The PIL by civil society members- Syed Shakeel Qalander (Former president FCIK) Ghulam Nabi Khayal, Bashir Assad, Qurat-ul-Ein, Ghulam Nabi Naik, Qasim Sajad, Muhammad Khurshid Alam, Khalid Hussain, Jagmohan Singh Raina and Zahoor Ahmad Bhat- follows series of reports by Greater Kashmir in May this year that state government has failed to ensure implementation of cabinet orders dating to 1975 and 1980 over construction of 790 MW Salal and 390 MW Dulhasti projects.
In the PIL, the members have prayed why did not the NHPC and Government of India adhere to terms and conditions of a cabinet decision No. 128 dated June 21 1975 and a communication to it by the state Power Development Department (No. PD-IV/243/72 dated July 07, 1975) pertaining to setting up of Salal.
As per the cabinet order, Jammu and Kashmir was entitled to 50 percent of power generated from the project besides 50 percent share on the returns over selling of remaining power by NHPC. The ownership of the project was to be reverted to the state government after a suitable period on payment of depreciated cost. However the order was never implemented.
While allocating Dulhasti project, “drastic” modifications to the 1975 cabinet order followed objections by Union Energy Ministry (as it was then called) at a meeting convened by its Joint Secretary PM Belliappa, with the state government officials on July 25, 1979.
Rejecting almost all the conditions stipulated by the state government in the cabinet decision over Salal, the Union Ministry of Energy while turning down the same for Dulhasti had categorically conveyed to the state government that “the Government of India will not be able to agree to the same terms as are applicable in the case of Salal project and won’t agree to profit-sharing clause as well.”
Following disclosures on Salal, government had revealed that official records regarding the pact between Jammu and Kashmir government and the government of India on energy sharing and transfer of major power projects to JK have purportedly gone “missing.” Under pressure, the government had ordered constitution of a cabinet sub-committee to study the pacts between the state and NHPC over execution of all power projects and recommend future course of action.
The PIL seeks to know how and when the relevant records on Salal and other projects have gone “missing” and the steps taken by the government to retrieve them, and fix the responsibility.
“Is there any memorandum of understating between state and NHPC regarding setting up of the projects and what modus operandi was adopted for giving total control of land to the NHPC for setting up the projects,” the civil society members have prayed in the PIL.
They have sough information about total quantity of energy generated by the projects controlled by the NHPC and the revenue earned by the corporation.
“Why has not government of India and NHPC returned the projects to state and what is total loss of revenue/energy caused to Jammu and Kashmir due to the violation of agreement reached over Salal and other projects,” the PIL asks.
Through the PIL the members have sought direction to the NHPC and Government of India to produce records to show their ownership rights over the projects, disclose the total energy generated by Salal since it became operational and total revenue earned by them.
The NHPC is presently operating Dulhasti, Salal and Uri-I in JK. The corporation is working on five other projects which were handed over to them by state government in 2000. They are 300 MW Kishenganga (Bandipora), 280 MW Uri-II (Baramulla), 120 MW Sewa-II (Jammu), 45 MW Nimo Bazgo (Leh) and 44 MW Chutak (Kargil).
Lastupdate on : Tue, 26 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 26 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 27 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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