Civil society seeks return of power projects

Calls For Hour-Long Sit-In Today

UMER MAQBOOL

Srinagar, June 11: Hours after the two-day international conference on hydropower opened here, the civil society members urged the participants to pass a resolution in support of return of the power projects from NHPC to Jammu & Kashmir. The civil society members urged people to observe one hour strike on Tuesday afternoon to lend support to their campaign.
Addressing a news conference here, former president of Federation of Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) Syed Shakeel Qalandar said that NHPC is “illegally” holding on power projects of the state.
“Neither NHPC has any license nor any document on land transfer of the projects here. We reiterate our demand for return of power projects to the state and we urge the participants of the conference to pass a resolution in support of our demand,” Qalandar said, adding that Jammu & Kashmir Government was compelled to push power projects into the lap of NHPC on pretext of counter-guarantee.
“For the past 64 years, the biggest hurdle for Jammu & Kashmir in harnessing power potential was refusal of the Central Government to give counter-guarantee and now they are saying there is no need of any such guarantee. Wasn’t it a conspiracy to keep JK away from harnessing its immense hydropower potential?” Qalandar asked.
Qalandar demanded that Jammu & Kashmir should be compensated for the losses suffered by it due to Indus Water Treaty (IWT).
“A technical committee should be formed to assess the losses on account of IWT and accordingly state should be compensated,” he said, adding that Thein Dam losses should also be compensated to state.
“Jammu & Kashmir gave away 1.20 lakh kanals of land to Punjab for Thein Dam and as per the agreement signed with Punjab, J&K was to get 20 percent water and power from the project. But so far we haven’t got a single megawatt of electricity nor single cusec of water from the project,” Qalandar added.
He also called upon people to observe one hour sit-in tomorrow between 1:00 pm to 2: 00 pm in favour of their demands.
“We appeal students, employees, industrialists, farmers and transporters to observe one hour sit-in tomorrow on this vital issue,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, noted academician Prof Hameeda Nayeem said that future investment from global and Indian companies in the power sector of the state is welcome.
She also demanded scrapping of joint venture between the state and NHPC on setting up of three projects – Kiru, Kawar and Pakal Dul - worth 2100 MWs, saying it is against the interests of state.
“For the past six decades, GOI’s refusal to give counter-guarantee for investment in the state has hampered harnessing of vast water potential we have. Now they are saying there is no-need of counter-guarantee and this is a deep-rooted conspiracy as they have already entered into an agreement with NHPC over JV,” she said.
Hameeda minced no words in castigating NHPC for “looting” and “plundering” water resources of the state.
“They have flouted all the agreements and commitments made with the state,” she said.
Among others, General Secretary of High Court Bar Association Ghulam Nabi Shaheen and columnist Abdul Majid Zargar spoke on the occasion.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST




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