Member Legislative Council Firdous Tak Saturday castigated National Hydel-Electric Power Company and Chenab Valley Power Project for acting like East India Company ignoring the genuine and just cause of Kishtwar district where most of the hydel projects are proposed to come up in next few years.
The legislator urged the CVPP to withdraw its recent recruitment notice issued at the national level and instead give preference to the local youth.
"We won't allow the two hydel companies to use our resources and at the same time treat us like slaves", Tak said adding, "The residents of Chenab Valley in general and Kishtwaries in particular must have first preference on all the projects that are coming up at the cost of environmental and geographical hazards to the area".
Tak was speaking during an interaction with unemployed engineering and other professionals of the district, who called on him here today in the backdrop of recent recruitment drive launched by CVPP, a joint consortium of NHPC and state run JKPDC. The corporation has engaged hundreds of people at its corporate and regional offices in last few years but there is negligible number from the local area. It has recently advertised nearly 100 posts at the national level causing serious resentment among the local unemployed youth.
The legislator said that locals of the area have so far felicitated every hydel company in smooth operation. The NHPC is earning crores of rupees from its Dul Hasti project but no recruitment has been made by the Company at the local level in last more than a decade, he said adding that hundreds of youth are engaged as labourers but the technical and other staff is being brought from outside the state which speaks about the approach of the officials towards the locals.
He said that nearly six habitations near Dool Dam are sinking causing serious threat to the local inhabitants but the NHPC has turned a deaf ear towards their plight. "NHPC is taking cosmetic measures in the name of Corporate Social Responsibility while no money was being spent on local area development".
Tak said that prestigious Keeru, Kwar, Karthi and Pakal Dul projects are under pipeline and expected to be taken up by next financial year. "How can locals of the area be mute spectator to the indifferent attitude of the company when it is clear that four projects will cause devastating effect on environment, geography besides dislocating hundreds of families", he said adding, "You (CVPP) will have to own the people of the area before banking and utilising their resources for economic gains".
He said that locals of the area are ready to fight their battle to any extent in case the CVPP authorities do not reconsider the recruitment process giving special and first preference to the local youth. He also urged the Chief Minister Ms. Mehbooba Mufti to intervene in the matter personally.