Water Usage Charges

It sounds good that following the enactment of State Water Regulation and Management Act and constitution of the State Water Resources Regulatory Authority the NHPC has started paying the water usage charges to the state. There can be no denying, compared to the profits that NHPC, a GoI-undertaking operating all major power projects in the State, has made an amount of Rs. 450 Crores paid by it as water tax for six months is nothing but peanuts. So far the corporation has paid a total amount of Rs 1173 Crores as water usage charges. During next five years the state government is expecting to realize Rs.5000 Crores as revenue from the Corporation, which it plans to use for buying back old projects of the Corporation. The viability of this idea is questionable. For lack of imagination on part of leadership and inefficiency and apathy of bureaucracy, the Undertaking succeeded in constructing power projects in the state on its own terms and condition and to the disadvantage of the state. It is managing four power projects in J&K - Uri-1, Salal, Dulhasti and Sewa-II with combined power generation capacity of 1660 MWs. Besides, it is going to commission over seven power projects in near future, some of them in joint venture with the state government. The state is getting only 12 percent power free as royalty from the operational projects managed by NHPC while as a fixed quota of the energy is sold to it on generation cost. The J&K state has contributed over fifty percent of the total profit made by the Corporation. The paltry sum of few hundred Crores deposited by the NHPC as water usage charges should not be cause for complacence for the government; it needs to understand that it is to dampen the public anger against the Corporation.  The amount of Rs. 5000 Crores that the state expects to get as water charges from the corporation is no compensation for plundering resources of the state. There is need for revisiting, reviewing and revoking all previous agreements on utilization of the water resources and put an end to NHPC monopoly in the state. It should introduce open tender system for allotment of power projects and encourage construction of small hydroelectric projects. 

Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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