Omar complains of Punjab’s ‘highhandedness’
Seeks Water, Power Share From Ranjit Sagar Dam
GK NEWS NETWORK
Basohli (Kathua), May 23: While the state got its first cable-stayed bridge Monday, chief minister Omar Abdullah used the opportunity to apprise the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi about the “injustice the state was facing” due to denial of its share of water and electricity from Ranjit Sagar Dam,
constructed on the river Ravi by the neighbouring Punjab government.
Chief Minister strongly pleaded compensation for the losses suffered by Jammu and Kashmir, while apprising Sonia of the denial of water for irrigation and subsequent refutation of its share of electricity by the Punjab government.
Describing the denial of its share of water and power as one of the many instances of ‘injustices’ being meted out to the state over the past sixty years, Omar said, “Hum Iss Waqat Aise Hi Eik Zulum Kay Kinarai Baithay Hain (We are sitting one the banks of one of the injustices committed to us”, he said.
“The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been subjected to injustice on many accounts and one of them is the denial of its share of waters and electricity from the Shahpur Kandi Barrage despite the fact that maximum land beneath it belongs to us”, Omar complained while speaking at the function after Sonia laid foundation stone of the state’s first cable-stayed bridge here.
He, however, said the state was now pursuing the matter with full might and hoped that it would secure its due at any cost.
The UPA chairperson was seen listening with rapt attention to the issues raised by the chief minister, while the former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad was noticed explaining the matter to her.
Pertinently, under the agreement, Punjab was to share 1100 cusecs of water with Jammu and Kashmir, and also supply 20 percent of the electricity generated from the dam to the state in lieu of the sixty percent land under it.
After over ten years of commissioning of the mega-power project over Ranjt Sagar Dam also known as Thien Dam in Jammu and Kashmir, the government claimed compensation of Rs 8000 crores for its share of water and power from Punjab.
Notably, Punjab has cancelled all the bilateral agreements on sharing of water and electricity with Jammu and Kashmir through a legislation passed by its assembly in 2004. The power project on Thien dam started generating electricity in 2001.
Omar also sought central assistance for construction of two tunnels at Chattergala and Singpora-Vailoo to link Kishtwar and Doda with the Kashmir valley on one side and an alternate link to the state with Punjab and Himachal Pradesh on the other.
On Panchayat polls, Omar said establishment of Panchayat institutions would strengthen the democratic set up in the state and open vistas of development.
The Chief Minister said that after Halqa Panchayats, Block Panchayats and District Panchayats would be constituted with an aim to transfer powers to these institutions and devolve authority to the democratically elected bodies.
Omar said that Panchayat Raj in the state would act as an effective tool to address the menace of corruption and ensure public monitoring of the development schemes at all levels.
Omar also praised Border Roads Organization (BRO) for working in difficult situation, braving weather vagaries and other challenges and keeping the highways open in the state besides undertaking construction and upgradation of various key roads.
RAJIV GANDHI’S DREAM REALISED: FAROOQ
Speaking on the occasion, Union minister for Renewable Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah said the dream of former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi to construct a bridge over river Ravi was fulfilled after 22 years by none other than his wife.
Dr Abdullah said the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the bridge in 1989 but due to the announcement of parliamentary elections at that time the project could not take off.
“It is a pleasure that the dream of Rajiv Gandhi was now being fulfilled by none other than his wife”, he said while hoping, “We would also like that Mrs Gandhi travel on the first vehicle on the bridge after its completion”.
JK WOULD TO UTMOST PRIORITY: ANTONY
Defence Minister A K Antony assured the gathering that Jammu and Kashmir would continue to receive the “utmost and undivided priority” in the development of infrastructure. “The development of infrastructure will ensure accelerated economic progress not only in the state of J&K, but also the whole nation”, he said.
He disclosed that at present feasibility studies are being carried out for two more tunnels across Zojilla and Z-Morh in J&K. These tunnels will be very crucial for providing all-weather connectivity to Kargil-Leh region from Srinagar.
AZAD PITCHES FOR MORE TUNNELS
Union health minister and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Ghulam Nabi Azad said that some tunnels, on which survey work was already underway, were must for the connectivity of the state. “We hope that Vailoo Tunnel in Kishtwar and Chattergal tunnel on Bani-Bhaderwah road will be taken up at the earliest so that the people of the state can have an alternate route”, he said.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 May 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 May 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 24 May 2011 00:00:00 IST
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