CM’s ‘diktat’ draws flak
‘STOP NHPC FROM PILLAGING JK’S WATER RESOURCES’
Srinagar, June 22: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah’s latest statement asking people to pay power tariff at market prices or face darkness, has drawn flak from across the board with stakeholders terming it “dictatorial”.
Civil society and business community ‘criticized’ the Chief Minister for issuing what they termed a ‘childish statement’. Arguing that the state has the potential to generate more than 20000 MW of electricity on its own, they alleged that the successive governments have failed to harness the full hydropower potential.
“The statement is unfortunate. He should not have threatened people and blamed them for all ills. Even the misgovernance in the Power Development Department (PDD) has been blamed on consumers,” Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) member Shakeel Qalander said.
“I've been very transparent about the power situation in the State. The 70 percent loss/theft situation is unsustainable, so load shedding happens,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter yesterday. “Power in JK is the second cheapest in the country after Sikkim. How about all of you, complaining about load-shedding, start paying market price,” he went on to add.
“It is very unfortunate that Chief Minister is passing his failures to the common people. His government is not able to reduce T&D losses and for that Omar cannot blame common people,” Muhammad Yaseen Khan, Chairman of Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) – an amalgam of traders, transporters and hoteliers told Greater Kashmir.
Khan added that the people are already paying market price for electricity.
“State government is selling our power to the centre, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) is looting our resources, why his government is not taking any action against the NHPC,” he said.
“State subjects continue to reel under darkness. During winter, power conditions were very bad, but it seems the condition in summer is getting even worse. Scorching heat coupled with pesky power cuts has made life of people miserable. State government is pushing citizens to the wall by adhering to scheduled and unscheduled power cuts,” KCSDS spokesperson said.
He added that state government is duty bound to provide uninterrupted power supply to the metered areas. “But it has failed to do so.”
“It is unfortunate that despite the state being bestowed with huge water resources, CM is making such ‘juvenile’ statements. The government is selling electricity to other states and is asking the inhabitants of the state to pay higher tariff on it,” KCSDS spokesman said.
“KCSDS is against any kind of theft or loot of power. However state government shall have to stop ‘heist’ by NHPC before it advices the people of Jammu and Kashmir against smaller thefts. The state despite having potential of generating thousand of megawatts of power is not able to meet the local consumption for last 65 years,” he said.
Siraj Ahmad, a local hotelier said: “It is the failure on the part of government that they have failed to tap the water resources. CM’s statement reveals his mindset that his government wants to tax people more and more.”
“During one year, state government has hiked the power tariff twice and now CM wants to charge more. But Omar Abdullah should first stop corruption in PDD,” Ahmad said adding that tourists are facing lot of inconvenience due to scheduled and unscheduled power cuts and giving ‘bad name’ to our tourism sector.
“Government is hardly bothered about the miseries of common people, we have been time and again demanding that the Government should reduce the power tariff, but it is doing the opposite," Ajaz Lolpuri of Ellahi Bagh said.
Lolpori said that during his election campaigning in 2008, Omar used to advise people to break electric meters ad install heaters. “This is mere exploitation,” he said.
“During his election campaign Omar Abdullah had even promised that power tariff will be subsidised but from the day he has taken over as the Chief Minister of the state he has been giving his nod regularly to increase the tariff. It seems he has forgotten all his promises,” Lolpuri added.
The state faces 62% losses in the transmission and distribution, against requirement of around 750 MWs, it is failing short of around 150 MWs.
The NHPC runs four major power projects Salal (690 MW), Uri (480 MW), Dulhasti (390 MW), Sewa-II (120 MW). The state only gets 12% as royalty from the projects and the rest of power deficit is purchased from the open market in northern grid by the government.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 22 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 22 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 23 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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