Stating that handing over power projects in Jammu and Kashmir to non-local corporations is a direct attack on Article 35-A, J&K Socio-Economic Coordination Committee (JKSECC) demanded immediate revocation of State's Administrative Council's (SAC) decision announcing formation of joint venture with some public sector undertaking for execution of Ratle Hydroelectric Project.
"The decision of SAC taken on September 5 regarding formation of a joint venture with some central PSU for execution of Ratle HEP should be revoked immediately as it is against the interest of Jammu and Kashmir and direct attack on article 35-A," said chairperson, JKSECC, Hameeda Nayeem.
JKSECC is an amalgam of 27 civil society formations including trade, tourism, industry, horticulture, travel, houseboat, transport chambers and associations.
"SAC has accorded sanction to the formation of a separate joint venture company to develop 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Project on Chenab basin. As reported, the joint venture company is intended to be set up by J&K State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) in partnership with an undisclosed central PSU of government of India," she said adding that JKSECC takes strong objection to the proposal as the state has adequate experience, expertise and capability of managing and executing any new power project on its own.
"Ratle HEP, which is located between Dul Hasti HEP and Baghilar HEP, is considered to be less complex and therefore convenient for execution. Moreover, the most cumbersome part, i.e. the process of obtaining clearances for the project from various authorities, has been completed and the project even possesses clearance from the World Bank. We can involve the world's best consultancies as well as agencies for the execution of the project," she said.
"JKSECC holds bureaucracy squarely responsible for preparing and placing such suspicious proposals before SAC for its approval. It needs to be examined seriously how the state bureaucracy is ever ready to move these kinds of proposals during the governor's rule," she said.
"In 2008-9, during the governor's rule, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed regarding a similar proposal for formation of a joint venture among JKSPDC, NHPC and NPTC for execution of three power projects namely Pakal Dul, Kiru and Kawer for cumulative capacity of 2120 MWs. Deplorably, the next political dispensation honoured the said MoU verbatim and gave a formal shape to the formation of Chenab Valley Power Projects Ltd. (CVPP) with a grant of major share of 51 percent to the central PSUs. This is done in spite of the fact that NHPC had earlier failed to execute Pakal Dul HEP allotted to it in 1999-2000 under BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) basis and deserved to be penalised."
Member of JKSECC, Shakeel Qalander said that besides revoking SAC decision of Ratle Power Project, Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) Ltd. incorporated in the year 2011 should also be scrapped forthwith. He said that power projects of Salal, Uri I and Dul Hasti which are "under the illegal and unconstitutional occupation of NHPC" should be restored to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
"NHPC has illegally started operations on Sewa II, Uri II, Nimo Bazgo, Chutuk and Kishen Ganga power projects without completing the formalities under BOT agreement. Allowing the company to operate under shady agreement defies all norms, laws and principles of fair and just dealing," Qalander said.