Have unravelled mystery: Taj
Missing Documents Of Power Projects
Jammu, Oct 24: In a startling revelation, Minister for PHE Taj Mohi-ud-Din Monday claimed that he has unravelled the mystery behind the “missing” of vital documents pertaining to hand-over of power projects to NHPC, saying “two close friends - a former chairman of NHPC and a state Power Commissioner clandestinely took out these documents from the official records.”
“The NHPC officials fiddled with the government property. I will not disclose the names of officials but we have got clues that a former chairman of NHPC, who was a Kashmiri, and one of his Kashmiri friends, the then Power Commissioner, committed the fraud and removed official records pertaining to the power projects. They did it in a most professional and clandestine manner as there was not even a single file or paper available with the government to go over the issue,” the minister said.
He maintained; “It all happened after Indira Gandhi-Sheikh Abdullah accord. These officials not only misinformed the people but also fudged the figures in the records. The NHPC is saying that said all the vital documents got misplaced in 1984-85.”
“The NHPC, which is a driver appointed by the Government of India for driving the vehicle (power projects) in Jammu and Kashmir, became a self-styled owner of that vehicle. I have got some clues into the missing of vital documents pertaining to major power projects being run by the NHPC in Jammu and Kashmir while scrutiny of other documents is going on,” Taj told civil society members here.
He was speaking during a day-long seminar on “Management of Water Resources in J&K” organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Citizens Forum at Press Club Jammu. The representatives of Federation of Industries, hotel and tourism associations, academicians, intellectuals and senior citizens took part in the seminar.
Taking strong exception to the “misdeeds committed by NHPC,” the minister said the Corporation was just an “agent” appointed by the government for execution, operation and maintenance of some power projects in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The NHPC should go back to the principles and behave like an executing agency. It has committed breach of trust. There was no agreement between state government and NHPC and if they have had any agreement, it was with the Government of India (GoI). I feel surprised why NHPC interfered into the state’s affairs,” Taj remarked in his inimitable manner.
Pertinently, NHPC, in response to a letter by the JK government seeking records on execution, operation and maintenance of the Salal hydroelectric power project, had said that the same “was not traceable.”
The state’s PHE department had written to the Corporation asking it to produce the records. Taj had admitted that power projects were constructed without terms and conditions.
“Five states of the country had been suffering due to NHPC. The total profit of the NHPC is Rs 2400 crore and it had been earning Rs 1300 crore alone from Jammu and Kashmir. We have also taken up the matter with the GoI, seeking its intervention to resolve all issues,” Taj said.
He informed that the GoI had reached an agreement with NHPC over execution, operation and maintenance of J&K power projects in 1979. The GoI had asked the state government to amend its Transfer of Property Act on execution, operation and maintenance power projects.
Interestingly, when the NHPC, the minister said, moved an application in the state’s PHE department and floated tenders, it claimed that it was the owner of these projects.
“I fail to understand who gave them the ownership right as even the central government records don’t show such a thing. They became the self-styled owners. The projects are either property of the state government or the Government of India. And as per the agreement with the central government in 1975, Salal project is the property of the state government”, the minister said.
Earlier, the civil society members vociferously raised the demand for taking back the hydel projects from NHPC for making Jammu and Kashmir a self-sustained state.
Federation of Industries chairman Tejwant Singh Reen expressed serious concern over the problems being faced by the industrialists in the state following non-availability of sufficient power.
“The need of the hour is the sincere efforts to get back the hydel projects if the civil society wants to see J&K a self-sustained state. The civil society should unite and create awareness among people for a big movement so that the GoI is asked to handover power projects back to Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Similarly, Ravi Mahajan president J&K Prayatan Vikas Mandal—an amalgam of 22 organisations related to tourism industry—also highlighted the various problems confronting tourism industry due to shortage of power and water. He also extended full support to the movement.
Prominent among others who attended the function included senior Geology professor in Jammu University G M Bhat, hotel association president Inderjeet Khajuria, president of Bari Brahmana Association Annil Suri and other senior officials of the PHE department.
Taj, according to sources has written a letter in this regard to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who also holds the portfolio of power ministry, urging him to ask the NHPC to leave these projects.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 24 Oct 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 24 Oct 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 25 Oct 2011 00:00:00 IST
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