Civil society group slams JV proposal for Ratle project

Civil society group slams JV proposal for Ratle project
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SRINAGAR: J&K Socio-Economic Coordination Committee (JKSECC), a new amalgam of 27 civil societies, Wednesday asked the Governor led administration to scrap its decision regarding formation of a joint venture with some central PSU for execution of Ratle Hydro power project.
Talking to reporters, Hameeda Nayeem, one of the members, said that it was “sinister design” of the present regime to gift away another hydropower project to some unknown central PSU clandestinely; on terms and conditions that have not been revealed to public.
She demanded the government to put a halt on the proposal.
“JKSECC takes strong objection to the proposal as the state has adequate experience, expertise and capability of managing and executing any new power project on its own because it has already successfully launched 900MW Bhagliar Hydroelectric Power Project all by itself more effectively and efficiently than any other player in the field,” Nayeem said.
“Ratle HEP, which is located between Dul Hasti HEP and Bhagliar HEP, is considered to be less complex and therefore convenient for execution. The most cumbersome part of obtaining clearances for the project from various authorities has been completed and the project even possesses clearance from the World Bank. We can involve the world’s best consultancies for the execution of the project,” she added.
The raising of funds, she said, for the project should not be a problem at all after having a successful arrangement with a consortium of banks in borrowing money for BHEP.
“It can provide own margin from the corpus, created out of the funds generated by collecting water usage charges, which has accumulated by now to around 5000 Crore meant for new power projects,” she added.
“In view of these facts, the decision of the State Administrative Council (SAC) to introduce a partner for execution of Ratle HEP is inexplicable and grossly against people’s interests. SAC should not forget that harnessing of power potential is one of the limited avenues available to us for generating our own resources,” she added.
Shakeel Qalander, another member, told reporters that Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) Ltd. incorporated in the year 2011 should be also be scrapped.
“That power projects of Salal, Uri I and Dul Hasti which are under the illegal and unconstitutional occupation of NHPC should be restored to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The demand for return of these power projects is long pending and KCSDS has agitated for it for the past several years yet NHPC continues to suck these resources despite having earned 76 % (in multiples of their investments) of its assets in Kashmir,” he added.
Qalander demanded that SAC should direct NHPC which has “illegally” started operations on Sewa II, Uri II, Nimo Bazgo, Chutuk and Kishen Ganga power projects “without completing the formalities under BOT agreement”, to fulfil the terms of agreement or vacate these power projects lock, stock and barrel.
“The Burser HEP allotted to NHPC in the year 1999-2000 on BOT be immediately cancelled and taken back from the company owing to its failure to execute the project. The SAC is also called upon to strengthen and empower JKSPDC as an independent and autonomous company on the pattern of J&K Bank and entrust the job of execution of Ratle and other hydroelectric projects to it,” he added.