NHPC not fair with JK: Omar
CM Justifies Imposition Of Water Usage Charges
Srinagar, June 11: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday stressed that the 12 percent power Jammu and Kashmir was getting from the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) run projects was too less for development of the state which has only water resources to bank upon for its progress.
“We have nothing to rely upon for development except our water resources. How do I justify 12 percent electricity which I am getting from NHPC run projects? How do I compare it with the Rattle Power Project in which the power share of J&K is 55 percent,” Omar said while speaking on the first day of the two-day international hydropower conference, being organized by the India-TECH Foundation at SKICC here.
“Today if NHPC is ready to offer me power on these (Rattle) terms, I will happily accept it,” Omar made the statement while Chairman NHPC was seated beside him.
The 690-MW Rattle project is being constructed by the GVK Development Projects Limited in Kishtwar on BOOT basis and J&K would get its ownership back after 35 years.
Omar said state can be in no way grudged against for charging water cess to the power generating companies including NHPC. “It is justifiable. We have nothing else for resource generation. I am not apologetic about water usage charges,” Omar said. “A state like J&K cannot be grudged against if it wants to develop when we do not have anything except water,” Omar said.
For the last more than one year State Government was reiterating that it will buy back the hydropower projects controlled by the NHPC in the state. A cabinet subcommittee constituted by the government has also recommended it. NHPC has four power projects operational in the state with the installed capacity of over 1600 MW.
Omar said today state and NHPC were involved in discussion over the (ownership) of the projects.
He counted the disadvantages J&K was facing on account of Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan. “We have rivers (but) our one hand is tied behind back. We can only harness the water potential through run-of-the-river schemes (and not by constructing dams due to the IWT clause),” Omar said.
The IWT was brokered by World Bank between India and Pakistan in 1959-60. Under the treaty India has exclusive rights over the waters of the three major Eastern Rivers - Ravi, Beas and Sutlej before they enter Pakistan while Pakistan has rights over three Western rivers that first flow through J&K- Indus, Jhelum and Chenab.
The Treaty only allows J&K to set up run of the river projects on the three rivers entering Pakistan. It is seen as a bottleneck for which the state has forgone its development of industry, power, and agriculture for the last 60 years.
Omar said J&K could not do anything else to turn its fortunes but to harness water resources for energy generation. “To expect that J&K can be an industrial state is to expect too much. Our disadvantage is that we are located at the tail end of the country. We have a location disadvantage,” Omar said.
He said JK has only one thing to offer to the country and that is power.
“And less I am able to harness it though being the owner of it, it is disadvantage to me,” Omar said.
Minister of State for Power Shabir Ahmad Khan presented complete scenario of power status of Jammu and Kashmir and gave details of the government’s futuristic plans to make J&K power surplus state.
Principal Secretary Power Sudhanshu Pandey said the state government was targeting 3200 MW energy generation in the 12th five year plan.
He said if the joint venture between NHPC and state government to set up three power projects worth 2100 MW on Chenab River take off on time then state would witness “revolution” as far as power generation is concerned in J&K.
However, at the same time, Pandey said the state need investment in transmission sector so that that the power generated is evacuated and pooled up.
Managing Director, J&K State Power Development Corporation, Basharat Dhar, said the delay in clearance for the hydropower projects by the Ministry of Environment and Forests was ultimately leading to delay in the execution of the projects. He cited 1850 MW Sawlakote 690-MW Rattle and 450-MW Baglihar-II as two cases wherein the delay by the Ministry had holdup the execution.
“No doubt that preservation of environment should be our concern but there should be flexibility on part of the Ministry,” he said. Chairman NHPC, ABL Srivastava also 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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