Wednesday, September 19, 2018 | 11:04 AM

New Delhi won’t return power projects to J&K

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Clearly contradicting the PDP-BJP government’s ‘agenda of alliance’, the government of India on has ruled out return of power projects to Jammu and Kashmir, saying such a move will trigger similar demands from other states.

Talking to Greater Kashmir on the sidelines of a meeting in Srinagar, Indian power minister RK Singh said these projects don’t belong to anyone but the entire country. “In Uttar Pradesh, we have the projects run by the National Thermal Power Corporation. I can’t transfer these projects to Uttar Pradesh because they are not for one state, but all states. Similarly the National Hydel Power Corporation projects set up with the government of India’s money here don’t give power to the state (J&K) only, but every state gets a share of energy from these projects,” he told Greater Kashmir in the exclusive chat.
The minister was in Srinagar to review implementation of New Delhi-funded power schemes in the state.

In the agenda of alliance (AoA)— the roadmap for governing the state—the Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party have agreed to explore modalities for transfer of 390-MW Dulhasti and 4890-MW Uri-I hydropower projects from the NHPC to J&K, secure a share in profits of the NHPC from its projects in the state and revise all royalty agreements between the state and the NHPC.

But the government has repeatedly contradicted the assurances made in the AoA and the minister on Tuesday again continued with the Centre’s stand during his maiden visit to Kashmir after assuming the charge last month.

Stating that J&K imports over 70 percent of its additional power from outside to meet the energy demands, Singh said that if every state “starts doing it” (making demand for return of projects), then most of the power-deficit states will suffer.

J&K, Singh said, has the highest power-deficit and it will suffer the most in such a scenario.

The minister said that when any government of India-owned corporation like the NHPC or NTPC establishes projects in central sector in any state, a fixed share of energy is allotted to the states.

“This is a system working all over the country. Other states get share of power from the NHPC projects in Jammu and Kashmir and this state in turn gets share of power from the NHPC and NTPC projects set up in other states. If we transfer the projects (to J&K) then who will come and invest here? That is also a problem,” the minister said.

Earlier, the minister reviewed the implementation of different government of India-funded schemes for both Power Development department and Power Development corporation. He directed for speedy and effective implementation of the schemes to ensure that the initiative of providing electricity to every household by December 2018 is realised.