Srinagar, Nov 04: PDP General Secretary, and Former MLA Bandipora Nizam-ud-din Bhat on Saturday said that government of India is bound by its written and unwritten commitments to restore all rights of Jammu and Kashmir over its rivers and hydel projects sustaining on its waters.
Addressing workers convention in Bandipora Bhat said that NHPC, the government of India owned Power Corporation cannot violate agreements (MOU’s) on seven power projects out of which it has over the years earned about 200 billion rupees with a whopping profit over its investment.
“The corporation has no legal or moral claim left to deny the state returning of these projects after the agreed time has elapsed. The return of Uri-1 and Salal, in particular, should have been but an obligation for NHPC to fulfill the commitment,” he said.
Bhat said that by virtue of MOU signed in 2000 seven hydel projects namely, Kishen Ganga, Uri 2, Bursar, Sewa 2, Pakal Dul, Nino Bago and Chutak, the government of India and state government have to work out a methodology for handing over these power projects to the state.
“Agenda of Alliance (AOA) between PDP and BJP also envisages assertion of state’s right over these projects. The government of India working groups too have acknowledged the urgency to entertain state’s claim without any delay and facilitate state’s desire for self-reliance,” he said.
Baht said that Jammu and Kashmir State is facing power crisis despite contributing 30 percent of the total power consumed at national level which is an irony. “The growth rate is taking a dip and economy is in bad shape as main resources are virtually hijacked.”
He said that the state’s suffering is more acute in loss of employment avenues, adding that once the power projects are returned to the state unemployment could be addressed to a greater extent and economy could be put in self-sustaining mode
Baht said that Bandipora’s Kishen Ganga project is nearing completion and rights and claims displaced lot are not adequately addressed.
He demanded that till these power projects are handed over to the state, the NHPC should encourage local employment in these projects and also ensure the continuation of services of those locals who are already working.
He said that NHPC should also be bound to contribute to the rehabilitation, employment and corporate social responsibility without any excuses. “It has been observed that NHPC authorities do not co-operate with the local administration for settlement of claims on time which causes losses and inconvenience,” he said.
Bhat appealed the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to intervene for proper utilization of money that comes from NHPC for the rehabilitation and compensation so that people are adequately benefitted.