Lithium related developments | Mehbooba Mufti raises concerns

Srinagar, Sep 26: Former chief minister and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti, has raised concerns over the recent developments regarding the lithium reserves in the region.

In a statement she said that after the takeover of Jammu and Kashmir’s water resources and minerals by the Government of India (GOI), the focus has now shifted towards the vast lithium reserves that lie beneath the region’s surface.

Lithium, a critical component in modern batteries, holds immense global significance in the transition towards cleaner and sustainable energy solutions. As the world increasingly embraces electric vehicles, renewable energy storage, and portable electronic devices, the demand for lithium has soared. Jammu and Kashmir is home to substantial lithium deposits that are pivotal in meeting this growing global demand, the statement said. “It is imperative to note that while the electricity generated by Jammu and Kashmir has historically been supplied to other regions, sometimes even free of cost, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have often found themselves in darkness due to inadequate power supply. Now, with the exploitation of these lithium reserves on the horizon, there are concerns that the benefits may not adequately reach the local population,” the PDP President said. Mehbooba Mufti has expressed apprehension that the lithium reserves in Jammu will be exploited and offered to the crony capitalists associated with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), potentially depriving the people of Jammu and Kashmir of their fair share in the wealth generated from these resources.

“Lithium is a globally coveted resource, and Jammu and Kashmir’s reserves are of great importance not just for our region but for the entire nation. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that the exploitation of these resources benefits the people of Jammu and Kashmir and not just a select few,” stated Mehbooba Mufti.

She observed that the countries and states with the highest lithium reserves, such as Australia, Chile, and China, have set examples of responsible resource management and transparent allocation of benefits to their citizens. Mehbooba Mufti insisted that the Government of India must follow suit in ensuring the equitable distribution of the wealth generated from Jammu and Kashmir’s lithium reserves.

In light of these concerns, Mehbooba Mufti demands accountability from the Government of India regarding the share that Jammu and Kashmir will receive from the exploitation of its lithium reserves. She emphasizes the need for transparency, fair compensation, and the active involvement of local stakeholders in the decision-making process. The issue of Jammu and Kashmir’s lithium reserves is of immense significance not only for the region but for the entire nation, she said and called upon all concerned citizens and stakeholders to join her in advocating for a fair and just distribution of the benefits derived from these valuable resources.

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