Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, the BJP MP representing the Ladakh Lok Sabha constituency, has welcomed the Rs 50,000-crore mega solar power project in the region but has made it clear that the project can only go ahead if a portion of jobs are reserved for the locals and a land lease model is followed.
“Investments are essential to come from outside, I welcome those. But there are a few conditions – we can’t give the land in your name, you will have to take it on lease and a portion of the jobs will have to be reserved for the local youth,” the Ladakh MP was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
“The developmental model should be keeping in mind the fragile ecology of the region. We are not going to allow you otherwise,” he said, adding that whatever the investors earn from the area, a part of it will have to be given to the council fund as royalty for ground development.
The Indian Express had earlier reported that a Rs 50,000 crore grid-connected solar photo-voltaic project spread across Leh and Kargil districts was finalised by the Centre— the single biggest investment proposal in the region since Ladakh was designated as a Union Territory.
Centre had earlier finalised the sites for the solar project, alongside the implementation details of a crucial transmission link to ensure the viability of the project. Pang, about 117 km from Leh, was finalised as the revised site for a major chunk of the 7,500 MW solar project after an earlier proposed site ran foul of environmental norms, Union Power Minister R K Singh had told The Indian Express.
The Ladakh MP also said that there is a need to tread on a “middle path” between the development and the local interests, such that both the Ladakhis as well as rest of India benefit. “It’s not that we are closing ourselves, nor do we want anybody to exploit Ladakh,” he said.
The mega solar project is being targeted for a tight 48-month commissioning deadline.
(With PTI inputs)