Centre ‘invites’ Taj to sort-out issues
Row Over Hydropower Projects
Srinagar, June 20: The Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has invited state Irrigation and Flood Control Minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din for a meeting on 28th of this month in New Delhi to discuss “issues” between J&K Government and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) regarding hydropower projects run by the Corporation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Taj confirmed to Greater Kashmir that he received the letter from the office of the Union Minister.
“The meeting is scheduled for June 28 in the chamber of Union Power Minister at New Delhi,” said Taj.
NHPC Chairman, ABL Srivastava, would be part of the meeting, Taj said.
Sources said Union ministry has invited Taj to discuss the stoppage of construction work of Uri-II hydropower project and the “issues” regarding different projects between state and NHPC.
Taj said following the protests by locals in Uri seeking jobs in the project as per the Cabinet order “they got the work stopped there.”
Reportedly the Government of India is not happy with the logjam between NHPC and state Government over construction and ownership status of the projects.
The stand-off between NHPC and state Government deepened after JK stuck by its stand that the Cabinet orders and not the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the GoI and state Government was basis for construction of power projects by the Corporation in the state.
The MoU was signed by the state and Union Power Ministry in 2000 over construction of seven power projects -330 MW- Kishanganga, 280 MW-Uri II, 1020 MW- Bursar , 120 MW Sewa-II, 1000-MW Pakal Dul, 40 MW Nimoo Bazgoo and 45-MW Chutak.
As per the MoU, NHPC had agreed to make recruitment of class III and class IV employees in the projects after adjustment of surplus staff. Besides, NHPC is claiming that 15 percent share of power was earmarked to the state under un-allocated quota from the projects.
However, the MoU was subsequently ratified by the state Cabinet and approved it with two changes- the recruitment for class III and class IV employees would be made from local areas and in addition to 12 percent power as royalty from the projects, state would also get 15 percent at bus-bar rate.
“State Government will stick by the Cabinet order. Why did NHPC start work on Uri-II and other projects if the Cabinet order was unilateral?” Taj said. “They are cheating state and are not ready to abide by the state laws.”
“The issues of emergency nature including Uri-II and ownership status of the projects will be on the agenda from our side,” Taj said.
Taj is on the forefront of the confrontation between the state and NHPC over the projects. Last year he said at a seminar here that the Corporation was “acting like East India Company and looting J&K of its resources.”
Lastupdate on : Wed, 20 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 20 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 21 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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