Srinagar: Indian power giant National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) has earned Rs 19,431 crore by selling power generated from its projects in Jammu and Kashmir in the past 14 years.
The state has paid Rs 4,179 crore to buy electricity from NHPC during this period.
The startling revelations came in response to an RTI filed by one Venkatesh Nayak of New Delhi-based Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative that partners with J&K RTI Movement.
The NHPC operates seven hydroelectric power projects in J&K–Salal, Uri-I, Dulhasti, Sewa-II, Uri-II, Chutak and Nimmo Bazgo.
Official documents reveal that NHPC has generated 1,15,636 million units of power from these projects from 2001 to March 2016.
The NHPC data reveals that Salal has generated saleable energy 2973.54 MU in 2014-2015 and earned a profit of Rs 302.31 crore by selling power to different utilities in India.
The Uri-I project has generated 2635.70 MU saleable energy, with a profit of Rs 417.87 crore in 2014-15, Dulhasti has generated saleable energy of 1850.94 MU in 2014-15 with a profit of Rs 1068.19 crore; Sewa-II has generated 479.60 saleable energy with a profit of Rs 221.26 crore; Uri-II 1008.87 MU with a profit of Rs 467.52 crore; Chutak 158.76 MU with a profit of Rs 132.41 crore and Nimmo Bazgo has generated saleable energy of 194.25 MU with a profit of Rs 175.45 crore respectively.
Seven hydel projects were handed over to the NHPC for funding, execution and operation over a period of 10 years under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the J&K Government and the government of India.
The MoU was inked in the year 2000 between the Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah and power minister Murasali Maran, in order to help J&K in its overall development apart from meeting its winter peak electricity requirements.
The MoU also contains a clause requiring both parties to work out a methodology for “handing over these projects to J&K government separately” and not a “buyback” of these projects as has been reported in a section of the media.
Another RTI application filed by Nayak with the Union Power Ministry seeking copies of the correspondence between the state and union governments regarding the transfer of the hydel projects back to J&K has been rejected by the NHPC on grounds of commercial interests. The reply said that the issue has not been resolved yet.
Earlier, in March 2015, in reply to a question raised by Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar, Tariq Hameed Karra
(Unstarred Question #1771), the Union Power Minister had stated that the NDA Government had not accepted the recommendation of the J&K Group of Interlocutors made in 2012 to transfer these hydel projects as a socio-economic confidence building measure.
The J&K RTI Movement Chairman Dr Shaikh Ghulam Rasool in a statement said that the NHPC is not abiding by the agreement signed in 2000.
“According to the MoU, J&K is to receive 12% of the power generated at these hydel projects free of charge. In addition to this quota, the MoU allows for the sale
of 15% of the total quantum of power generated to J&K, at bus bar rates,” he said adding the figures reveal that the actual quantum of sale to J&K for the period 2001-2015 is 19.7% of the total power generated.
The NHPC has disclosed that the Pakal Dul hydel project is yet to be completed.
More than two thirds of the power generated in J&K is sold to utilities outside J&K. Punjab is the largest buyer of power generated in J&K followed by Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, in that order.
According to NHPC data, the power generated by Chutak and Nimmo Bazgo hydel projects is being sold only to J&K. The two hydel projects are in Ladakh region.