Civil society, industry dismayed over CM’s ‘failure’ statement on return of power projects

SRINAGAR: Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS), a civil society group, has urged upon the Jammu and Kashmir government to scrap joint venture deal with NHPC in order to put a stop to continuous “loot” of J&K’s water resources.
It has also asked the government to cancel the allotment of 1020 MW Bursar Power project to NHPC for default in the schedule of construction.
KCDS, in an emergency meeting held here, while commenting on the statement of chief minister Omar Abdullah in J&K Assembly about his government’s decision not to handover any new power project to NHPC in future, asked him to immediately scrap the joint venture deal with the corporation for generation of 2220 MW of power.
“The people of J&K have since waken up and will not allow any government to give away its resources for no or meagre returns even if the government wishes to do so. However, the government is adopting different methodologies to sell out these resources under pulls and pressures from the central government,” a KCDS statement emailed to Kashmir Reader reads.
Attacking the Omar Abdullah government KCSDS said: “The present dispensation has sold off further water resources to NHPC under the garb of secret joint venture deal, the terms of which had neither been made public nor incorporated duly after inviting public opinion and objection. The three power projects viz 1000 MW-Pakal Dul, 660 MW-Kiru and 560 MW- Kawar have been allotted to a newly formed joint venture corporation namely Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) Ltd owned by NHPC, JKSPDC and PTC (India) Ltd in the share of 49 percent, 49 percent and 2percent respectively. Even if it is presumed that the cash starved J&K state would be able to provide equity of more than 8000 crores to claim its share of 49 percent from the joint venture, still 51 percent of the generation from three power projects accounting for 1132.20 MWs have been sold off to NHPC/PTC on the old paltry returns of 12 percent. As per a provision of the joint venture, 100 percent of the company shall be owned by NHPC if the state government failed in providing its equity.”
KCSDS fails to understand the logic behind entering into such a crafty and risky deals, which have paved way for strengthening the foundations of this ”East India Company” (as named by a sitting minister of present collation government) in the state, the statement said. The civil society has time and again been underlining the need for making JKSPDC a listed and independent autonomous company for generation of power from the water resources of the state instead of having such “obnoxious” deals, it said.
KCSDS members have also urged upon the state government to cancel the allotment of 1020 MW Bursar to NHPC as they have failed to construct the power project within the allotted time schedule. “Bursar and Pakal Dul have been among 7 power projects handed over to NHPC in the year 2000 with a condition that all these projects would be completed by the year 2010”, observed the members adding that 14th year on, these two projects have not been taken up for construction at all by the corporation. Besides, the state government is duty bound to recover losses from NHPC as a consequence of non-completion of these projects, said the members.
KCSDS expressed great disappointment on the candid admission of the chief minister regarding his governments’ failure to retrieve power projects that continue to be under the illegal and unconstitutional occupation of NHPC in the state.
The members observed that the no concrete efforts had been put in by the state government except for making statements in hey only for the public consumption. In the recent past, the Union MOS Power, in reply to a question by GN Ratanpuri, is on record to have informed Rajya Sabha that so far no formal request had been received from J&K state for return of power projects from NHPC that denotes the “falsehood” behind such “efforts”.
KCSDS expects the government to learn lessons and show the courage of Arunachal Pradesh government, which showed NHPC the door in the 2000 MW power project on Arunachal-Skim border because the deal did not suit the states’ interests.  The state needs to look inwards for generation of power on huge water resources after exploring the possibility of securing low cost funds under FDI that are available at short notice, a luxury not possible in NHPC funded projects as the company is a subsidiary of GoI with inept bureaucratic handling entails delays as has been witnessed time and again in J&K power projects, said the members.