Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Kashmir water resources go in Delhi’s belly, State left to beg

New Delhi stalling power generation in state sector’

NASEER A GANAI


> NHPC gets power from 690 MW Salal Power Station at 65 paisa per unit and from the 480 MW Uri-I at Rs 1.50 per unit.
> JK has to purchase the same
power, generated from its own water resources, at up to Rs 13 per unit.


Srinagar: The 390 megawatt Dul Hasti hydel project is not the only facility which Jammu and Kashmir failed to get from the government of India. In 2000 also, New Delhi forced the State government to handover seven power projects to the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).
The seven projects were: 240 MW Uri II, 330 MW Kishanganga, 120 MW Seva II, 1000 MW Bursar, 1020 MW Pakaldul, 44 MW Chitak, 45 MW Nemo-Buzgo.
Sources said the State government had planned to develop seven projects including 240 MW Uri II, 330 MW Kishanganga, 120 MW Seva II and had got the concurrence of the internationally reputed agencies for funding. The agencies had given detailed project reports to JK’s Power Development Corporation (PDC).
The foreign agencies had agreed to provide 85 percent financial assistance to the State government in developing these projects. The State government had got concurrence for developing Kishanganga and Uri II power projects from the companies which had developed Uri I. And for Seva the concurrence had come from the Seva Power Consortium.
However the government of India allegedly stalled the projects by refusing to give counter guarantee. The counter guarantee is sovereign guarantee with which the government of India declares to foreign company that it would clear the debt in case of default by the State government.
The official sources said the State government had worked hard to develop these projects on their own as they have manpower and capability “which is being deliberately undermined to pave way for others to exploit our water resources.”
With the Government of India refusing to give counter guarantee for the State to develop and use its own water resources, the JK government was forced to assign the seven projects to Government of India. On July 20, 2000 an MoU was signed between the then Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and then Minister of Power Government of India, Kumaramanglam. The State government however had insisted government of India should include BOOT (Built Own Operate and Transfer) basis in the agreement, which the GOI had reportedly agreed but in the MoU this condition was skipped.
Under the BOOT, the project is transferred to the State after 35 years. The agreement instead stated that the details of transfer would be worked out later.
Now the State government would get only 12 percent royalty from these projects and rest of the power would be allocated to different States by the Government of India which would purchase the power. And Jammu and Kashmir State too has to purchase the power from NHPC.
The officials said the government of India takes the power projects from JK and then announces economic packages for the State, which in fact are packages for the NHPC to develop the power projects. “This is simple. Rs 18912.25 crores have been earmarked under the prime minister’s reconstruction programme for development of power in the State. This includes Rs 14, 952.41 crores in the central sector for generation of power,” said a senior official. He said the prime minister has given over Rs 14000 crores for the development of these projects which were under NHPC and the State government or its people won’t get any benefit from them.
“The State government has to purchases power from the NHPC at exorbitant rate,” said the official.
While the NHPC is getting power from 690 MW Salal Power Station at 65 paisa per unit and from the 480 MW Uri I at Rs 1.50 per unit, JK has to purchase the same power, generated from its own water resources, at up to Rs 13 per unit.
The NHPC presently develops 2400 MWs of power in India and out of it 1600 MW is being developed only in Jammu and Kashmir.
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