Cabinet to discuss Salal
Taj Seeks Relevant File, Meets NHPC Authorities
Srinagar, May 24: The state cabinet is scheduled to discuss on Thursday the non-implementation of its 1975 order agreed upon by the government of India regarding power sharing and transfer of Salal power project to Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, pursuing on the issue, the state Irrigation Minister, Taj Mohi-ud-Din, is learnt to have sought “full details” from the Power Development Department on the order even as he today took up its “violation by Government of India” with National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC), currently controlling the 690-MW Salal power project.
Highly placed sources told Greater Kashmir that Taj whose office had traced the vital archaic document has decided to take it to the cabinet though the agenda for the next cabinet meeting is yet to be decided. The minister is understood to have already informed his cabinet colleagues about the move.
“The minister will formally apprise the cabinet about the facts regarding the terms and conditions which were agreed upon by the then government of India over Salal. He will draw the cabinet’s attention to many question like why the order was not implemented and who is responsible for its violation and subsequent losses suffered by state,” sources said.
Greater Kashmir had on May 22 exclusively revealed that the cabinet order No. 128 dated: June 21, 1975 was communicated to union power ministry vide letter No. BD-14/243/72 dated 21/07/1975, ahead of construction of 690 MW Salal power project over river Chenab in Kishtwar area of Jammu and Kashmir.
The order 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.
Meanwhile following up on the issue, Taj is learnt to have sought the relevant file regarding the cabinet order from PDD.
“The Irrigation department has traced the number of the file. The minister (Taj Mohi-ud-Din), has under business rules, asked for the file from PDD. The file is expected to throw more light on the issue and the minister is hoping that some missing links would be ascertained,” sources said.
The file is important also because it would help the state to devise future strategy to seek return of the project from GOI and compensation against the losses suffered by it.
“It will be a long and hard process. But the state government must pursue the return of Salal,” said a senior cabinet minister.
Sources said Taj Mohi-ud-Din today “informally” took up the issue with NHPC authorities at Jammu.
The minister, sources said had more than 2-hour long meeting with NHPC Executive Director and his subordinates.
“Yes I discussed the order with them (NHPC officials). But they were not able to explain why the order was not implemented,” Taj told Greater Kashmir. He is expected to formally summon the NHPC authorities for their response on Salal in coming days. Among other things a local news agency said the cabinet would also discuss nomination of two Information Commissioners to State Information Commission. “The nomination of three new members for Public Service Commission will come for a discussion in the meeting,” the news agency quoted sources as saying.
Three members of PSC, Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, Javed Makhdoomi and Anil Goswami are completing their terms soon.
The cabinet, sources said would also give sanction to the creation of professor and assistant professor posts for Dental College Srinagar.
”Amendment in Panchyati Raj Act would also come for discussion,” they added.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 24 May 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 24 May 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 25 May 2011 00:00:00 IST
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