Omar: Ready to pay to get back hydel projects

“However,we feel we have a rightful claim over these projects.”

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu | Published:January 6, 2012 12:09 am

Faced with public unrest over power crisis in the Valley,Jammu-Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said his government was even prepared to pay for getting back the Uri and Salal hydel projects from the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).

Referring to the state government’s demand for handing over the two projects,he said: “We are not asking them forcibly. If need be,we will pay for it,” said Omar. “However,we feel we have a rightful claim over these projects.”

“Even the Rangarajan Committee headed by C Rangarajan,Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council,in its initial report on economic viability of the state,had recommended the transfer of hydel projects to the state,” the Chief Minister while speaking at a function held on completion of his coalition government’s three years in office.

The state government has set up a cabinet sub committee headed by Finance Minister A R Rather to examine the issue. The cabinet is expected to submit its report to the Chief Minister on Thursday. “Let the state cabinet have deliberations on the report before state government proceeds ahead in the matter,” Omar said.

Sources,too,said the J-K government has made up its mind to get back both the projects even if it means paying Rs 6,166 crore to the NHPC. For 450 mega watt (MW) Uri project,it has worked out its present cost at Rs 2,100 crore and Rs 4,066 crore for the 655 MW Salal project.

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