CM’s irresoluteness means surrender before NHPC: KCCI

SRINAGAR: The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) has expressed its dismay and shocked over the chief minster’s statement with regard to transfer of power projects from NHPC to the state control and management.
KCCI, in a statement Tuesday, said recovery of power projects the NHPC is holding at the cost of progress, prosperity and right to economic development of the people of Jammu and Kashmir must be ensured.
“Every conscious citizen of the state asks if   irresoluteness on the part of the CM should mean surrendering the state’s right  to utilization of  its resources,” the president of KCCI, Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad said. “The KCC&I suggest that instead of retreating on its claims for the power projects under NHPC, a unanimous resolution be passed and adopted in the  on going Legislative Assembly session for the return of the power projects from the NHPC.”
He said, KCCI feels it necessary  to  respond  to the manner and style in which the information sought with regard to consumption of power in Kashmir  and  Jammu regions  of the state has been  provided  in the State  Assembly’s current session by the PDD. To the common understanding it appears that the issue related to the power consumption and revenue return  for the same  is being  regionalized  with   political motive underlying, he added.
“The KCCI  calls for it being appreciated by all concerned that Jammu and Kashmir are two parts of one solid unit the  Jammu and Kashmir State for ages immemorial  and its people have equal right  to its resources with responsibility to protect and preserve them for its future economic development,” Ahmad said.
“While the distribution and consumption of power  at regional level is subject to rationalization, the basic  and primary  issue is how much power is generated in the state  both by the state and central agencies using our water resources   and how much against  the same is available to the people of the state.”
It is an established fact that out of the huge potential for hydro electric power generation in the state a major chunk has been exploited by the NHPC at Salal, Uri, Dulhasti and elsewhere in the state. It is also a fact that a paltry percentage of the power generated through the projects under NHPC and is erratically provided to the state. Bound by ambiguous agreements on this account  the state has not  been able to claim a larger share thus leaving  the  people of Kashmir craving  for the benefit  that would  have accrued from the  state owned resources to trickle down to them as their legitimate right, the statement said.
KCCI have been repeatedly calling attention and urging the government of Jammu and Kashmir from time to time to invest its efforts in right  direction  for  getting the Salal, Uri  and Dulhasti  and also other such   hydroelectric  power projects established with the support  of NHPC in Jammu and  Kashmir  transferred  to the J&K state control  now as  the NHPC  have already earned   returns more than they deserve on   their investments on these  projects. The KCCI have in the past   taken up the issue with the Prime Minister of India through  open letters and memorandums submitted to him in person at Delhi  and latest on his visit to Kashmir in 2013. The NHPC  is claiming propriety of the power projects on the basis of some agreements drawn between them and the J&K  state and is not therefore inclined to transfer these projects to the state .The Central Government  has not  so far  shown its interest  in putting its weight  against the NHPC claims  in larger  public interest.  At  KCC&I  it is felt that the way the NHPC is behaving  in regard to settlement and transfer of the power projects to the J&K state  is illogical and intriguing; more so  in the light of the fact  that the  NHPC has utilized the  central funds  that came for the purpose essentially in the name of the state . The KCC&I strongly argues so as it suggests to recall the  Rs. 24000 crore package  of Prime Minister of India  extended  to the state  for its economic development  in November 2004. Rs. 18000 crores  of the package were  directly diverted to the NHPC  for power  generation. Despite  having received and utilized  such a huge sum of money for and on the state account NHPC  does not bulge from its  stand of claiming ownership right to the power projects established in the state. The President , KCC&I  Shiekh Ashiq Ahmad has reiterated  the  demand  for  immediate  transfer  of the  NHPC  handled   projects in Jammu and Kashmir  to the  State control  to allow  the  state  utilized its resources for the  economic development  and prosperity  of its people.  He  urges the state and  central government  to take positive steps in this  direction  without giving way to  any  confusion  or unrest  among  the people of  the state.

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