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Published On:07 July 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

NHPC beneficiary of 19 thousand crore package not J&K

K-civil society, which includes well-known Industrialist Shakil Qalandar, Journalist Bashir Assad, President Kashmir Chamber of Commerce Nazir Ahmad Dar, former Bureaucrat Ghulam Nabi Naik and others, have decided to go for a PIL against the government.

By Bashir Assad

Srinagar: The Prime Minister’s Rs. 19 thousand crore Economic Reconstruction Plan for power generation has actually gone into the kitty of National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), while as the state of Jammu & Kashmir still reels under darkness.

Since generation of power in Jammu and Kashmir has been entrusted to NHPC – though not legally – the Rs. 19,000 crore plan has in no way helped the state to overcome the power deficit.

NHPC which generates 52% of its total revenue from Jammu and Kashmir, is selling the 87% electricity generated from J&K to the Northern Grid.

It may be recalled that Prime Minister during his visit to J&K on 17th and 18th November 2004, announced a Reconstruction Plan of 27 thousand crores for J&K for various sectors which include the schemes aimed at expanding economic infrastructure, expanding provision of basic services, providing thrust to employment and income generation and providing relief & rehabilitation to the dislocated and the families of victims of militancy. The Reconstruction Plan was supposed to cater to the needs and demands to strengthen the economic and social infrastructure and provide for balanced development of the 3 regions of J&K. For generation of power alone about 19 thousand crores were earmarked but its immediate beneficiary is NHPC not the state as 88% power generated from all projects in the state is sold by NHPC to northern grid.

After state Water Resources Minister Taj Mohiudin dug the power history revealing that the state government had actually signed an agreement with the union government in 1975 by virtue of which J&K was entitled to 50 percent share of power on generation cost from the Salal power project and that the file has been under criminal conspiracy removed from the archives of the government and also from the cabinet section, the civil society in Kashmir has decided to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on one hand and on the other hand they are just trying to build pressure on the government to explain whether the 19000 crore power generation plan under Prime Ministers Economic Reconstruction Program has actually gone to NHPC.

Well-known Industrialist Shakil Qalandar, Journalist Bashir Assad, President Kashmir Chamber of Commerce Nazir Ahmad Dar, former Bureaucrat Ghulam Nabi Naik and others have decided to go for a PIL against the government. A prominent Lawyer of J&K High Court has been engaged by the group who according to sources in busy these days drafting the case.

Bashir Assad has received all important information from the concerned departments under J&K Right to Information Act 2009 and the papers has been handed over to the lawyer.

Now the group, sources said is consulting the economists and people of the finance department to know factual position of 19 thousand crores as whether the money has been spent by the state government on improving the power infrastructure or it has directly gone to NHPC for investment in J&K.

“If the money has gone to NHPC for investment in J&K, the central government should immediately deduce the amount from the from the actual Reconstruction Plan as the people of the state are in no way the beneficiaries of the money invested by NHPC in J&K. The power generated from our waters goes outside state which simply amounts to plundering of our resources and astoundingly the central government clandestinely debits to the state what it has actually credited to its own executing agency-the NHPC,” said Shakil Qalander.

“We have started a mass awareness program and we will bring everything to people’s court,” added Shakil.

Shakil further said the agreement of 1975 clearly says the state government will be entitled to 50% of power and will be at will to sell any surplus power out of its 50 percent share to any state, the profit earned from sale of the (remaining) 50 percent of power will be shared between state government and the government of India, the power requirements of the state will be reviewed after every 5-years, the project would be fully funded by the government of India, the ownership of the project will be reverted to the state government after a suitable period on payment of depreciated cost in accordance with JK Electric Supplies Act 1971 and the state government will have sole rights for development of fisheries and navigation on the storage created by the project. But, Shakil added, the state has been deprived of its rights by NHPC. Where is the file and where is the Economic Reconstruction Plan?, people of this state has every right to know whether through filing PIL or through mass awareness programs.

[Bashir Assad is a senior Journalist based in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. He is now Bureau Chief (J&K) of IndianMuslimObserver.com. He can be contacted at bashirassad@rediffmail.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on July 07, 2011. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on July 07, 2011. Filed under , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

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