The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday reiterated his demand for transfer of Salal and Dul Hasti hydel power by National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) to the state free of cost.
He said that compensation to NHPC shall be paid by the Centre with Finance Commission making appropriate provision for the purpose. Pointing out that the Rangarajan Committee constituted by the Centre for creating employment and employability in the state had recommended transfer of certain hydel projects to the state free of cost, he sought adequate compensation to the state for the losses suffered by it on account of Indus Water Treaty as it restricts the state from exploiting its hydel power and irrigation potential to the fullest.
The 690 MW Salal and 390 MW Dul Hasti have been constructed over river Chenab by NHPC in Reasi and Kishtwar districts respectively.
Addressing a joint meeting of the 14th Finance Commission and top officers of the state government in Srinagar, Omar urged the former to strongly recommend the Centre to transfer its each hydel power project in the state after the expiry of 30 years from the date of their commissioning. However, till then, its free quota of power in those projects shall be raised from the present 12 percent to 30 percent, he added.
He expressed the hope that the 14th Finance Commission will take a liberal and pragmatic view of the financial difficulties of the state which is faced with the daunting challenge of reconstructing its economy battered by insurgency. In this regard, he mentioned about his government’s initiatives to harness hydel power potential of the state.
The state government has started indigenous projects of over 1,400 mega watts during the last five years against only 750 mega watts worth power projects launched during the last 60 years, he pointed out.
“Edifice stands laid to generate 9,000 mega watts of energy over the next seven years,” he said, adding that with this kind of generation, the state will not only be self reliant in respect to its power requirements, but it will also have considerable surplus power which it can sell to others for generating income.