Will press for return of Salal Power Project: CM
Taj On Forefront; Briefs Cabinet Colleagues
Srinagar, May 23: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Monday broke his silence over non-implementation of a 1975 state cabinet order on return of Salal power project from government of India to Jammu and Kashmir, saying his government would seek implementation of the said order “in view of the original agreement.”
“We will seriously pursue the return of the Salal power project (from government of India) as per the original agreement,” Omar told Greater Kashmir. This newspaper had on Sunday revealed that the cabinet order No. 128 dated: June 21, 1975 over execution, power sharing and transfer of 690 MW Salal power project from GOI to the state was never implemented, causing immense monetary and energy loss to Jammu and Kashmir.
The cabinet order communicated to union power ministry vide letter No. BD-14/243/72 dated 21/07/1975, ahead of construction of Salal power project, makes it clear that JK government would be entitled to 50 percent share of power on generation cost from the project, it will be at will to sell any surplus power out of its 50 percent share to any state, the profit earned from sale of the (remaining) 50 percent of power will be shared between state government and the government of India, and the ownership of the project will be reverted to the state government after a suitable period on payment of depreciated cost in accordance with JK Electric Supplies Act 1971 besides setting some other terms and conditions.
State’s PHE and Irrigation Minister, Taj Mohi-ud-Din, whose office is credited with having retrieved the important cabinet order, said he has discussed the issue with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and other cabinet colleagues at length.
The Chief Minister, he said responded “positively” to his suggestions and the cabinet ministers “supported the argument that government of India should transfer Salal to J&K as per the agreement reached with it.”
“We can’t leave it halfway. A strategy will be devised for moving ahead on the issue,” said Taj.
The minister said due to non-implementation of the order, JK has suffered monetary losses running into thousands of crores.
“We will seek compensation from (government of India) on account of losses suffered due to non-implementation of the order,” Taj said.
Meanwhile more political voices today joined the chorus that state government should seek return of Salal and other power projects to JK.
President, Democratic Party Nationalist, Ghulam Hassan Mir, said it needs to be probed how the deviation (from the cabinet order) took place.
“We will take this issue to the logical conclusion in the interest of the state. We will in no way allow state’s interests to be fettered with,” said Mir who is also the state’s Agriculture Minister.
State secretary CPI-M, MY Tarigami said both state and central government shall take up measures to “rectify the wrongs” done with Jammu and Kashmir.
“This is the key issue at the core of the state economy. State government should gather courage and talk straight to the centre for transfer of Salal, Uri and other power projects to J&K,” Tarigami said, adding there was a need to re-visit Indus Water Treaty as well to ensure that “interests of the state are accommodated.”
On Sunday the coalition partners, National Conference and Congress had said that all shades of political opinions should unite to fight for “common interests” of the state. However, PDP had accused NC of “selling out state’s water resources and power projects to New Delhi in lieu of power.”
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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