Centre willing to examine Cabinet panel report: Taj
Union Power Ministry Seeks ‘Explanation’ Over Delay In Uri-II Execution
TRANSFER OF POWER PROJECTS
Srinagar, May 9: Union Power Ministry has assured Jammu and Kashmir Government that it will “examine” its Cabinet Sub-Committee (CSC) report seeking return of two major power projects, Salal and Uri-I, from National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) to the state, Minister for PHE Taj Mohi-ud-Din said.
On Tuesday Taj along with Minister of State for Power Shabir Ahmad Khan met Union Minister of State for Power KC Venugopal at Sharam Shakti Bhavan in New Delhi Tuesday.
According to reports, Taj and Khan were ‘summoned’ by the Union Power Ministry to seek ‘explanation’ from them over the suspension of work on Uri-II hydroelectric project. Work on the phase-II of Uri power project, being constructed by NHPC, was suspended following eruption of protests in the area over the killing of a student in CISF firing last year.
Besides Venugopal, Union Secretary Power and Chairman/Managing Director NHPC were also present at Tuesday’s meeting in Delhi.
“I submitted the cabinet sub-committee report to the Union Power Ministry and it was discussed for more than an hour. We strongly sought that NHPC should return Salal and Uri-I power projects to the state as recommended in the report,” Taj said.
He said the ministry assured that they will examine the report.
Regarding construction of Uri-II, Taj said they sought implementation of the MoU signed by the Ministry and the J&K Government on July 20, 2007 vide which seven hydroelectric projects were given to the NHPC for funding, execution and operation. The projects are Kishanganga, Uri-II, Bursar, Sewa-II, Pakal Dul, Nimmo Bazgo and Chutak.
“The state cabinet had approved the MoU with the condition that local youth should be engaged on class 3 and 4 posts,” Taj said and added that the Union Power Ministry had initially agreed to the condition through exchange of communications.
While 690-MW Salal is set up at river Chenab in Jammu, 480-MW Uri-I is build on Jhelum in Uri area of north Kashmir. The CSC report, , which was approved by the state cabinet last February, recommend buying back the projects from NHPC on depreciated cost of Rs 2566 crore and recovery of the excess payment of Rs 2340 crore made to NHPC.
Responding to a question Taj said: “Water is a state subject and the Centre has no authority to frame policies on it. No central formula can work on a state subject.” The CSC was constituted last year to review the pacts with NHPC on all power projects after mounting pressure from the civil society that came up with documental proof that NHPC was holding on some major power projects in the state “illegally.” Though State Government asserted that it will buy back the projects from the NHPC, the latter said it had no intention of that kind.
Last March Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told Legislative Assembly that NHPC does not want to return the projects as it is earning more than 50 percent of revenue from Jammu and Kashmir.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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