Skip to main content

Plea to "transfer" out hydro power units to J&K: Transparency urged in power supply to Punjab, North India

By Our Representative
India's right to information (RTI) activists, in close coordination with those of the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) state, have made a strong plea for the “transfer”, and not "buyback", hydro power projects put up in J&K to the state, and greater transparently in supplying power to other states.
In an email alert, senior RTI activist Venkatesh Nayak of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), a Delhi-based advocacy group, and Dr Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, of the J&K RTI Movement, have said that J&K “is a power surplus state that lights up homes and powers industries across northern India while its own people face severe power outages day after day.”
Basing his information on the RTI reply he received from the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), which runs several power plants in J&K, Nayak says, “More than two-thirds of the hydel power generated in J&K is consumed outside the state.”
Insisting that “the first woman Chief Minister of J&K “has her task cut out to 'em-power' the people in J&K, he says, “Punjab is the largest buyer of power generated in J&K followed by Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, in that order.”
Referring to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the then Chief Minister of J&K and the then Minister for Power in the Central Government, Nayak says, it referred to “transfer” of seven hydel projects -- Kishanganga, Uri-II, Bursar, Sewa-II, Pakal Dul, Nimmo Bazgo and Chutak -- to NHPC, in order to "exploit the large power potential in the state".
“The purpose of the transfer is to enable NHPC to 'execute these projects over a period of 10 years', in phases so that their implementation would help the State in its overall development apart from 'meeting its winter peak requirements of electricity'”, notes Nayak.
“The installed capacity of these projects is said to be a little more than 2,000 megawatts. Nearly 40% of the hydel power generated by NHPC projects across the country flows from J&K”, he says.
Adds Dr Rasool of the J&K RTI Movement, “Precious public funds are being invested on polluting diesel generators to provide power supply to far flung areas when a large proportion of the clean energy generated in the state is being sold outside the state.”
“J&K RTI Movement calls on the J&K govermment under Mehbooba Mufti’s leadership to protect the interests of the State better, by negotiating vigourously for the handing over (and not buyback) of the hydel projects to J&K”, he says in a statement.
The demand has been made, even as the RTI replies, says Nayak, have revealed that between 2001-2015 (14 years) NHPC earned more than Rs 19,431.92 crores to be exact from the sale of power generated in J&K to all power utilities, including the J&K government.”
Insisting that the terms of the MoU, regarding transfer of the power projects after 10 years, does not mention of a "buyback" of these projects by J&K government, Nayak says, “The language of the MoU only talks about 'handing over the projects' to J&K government.”
Nayak further says, “The Group of Interlocutors for J&K appointed by the Union Government, in October 2010, to hold discussions with all sections of opinion in J&K and identify the political contours of a solution and the road map towards it recommended the transfer of power projects under the Central Government's control back to the State as one of the several economic and social confidence building measures" required to reach the eventual solution.”
“Strangely”, he says, “The Interlocutors' Report has disappeared from the webpage of the Union Home Ministry where it was hosted earlier.”

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

Opposition refuses to legally challenge EVMs amidst plans of "back to ballot" protest

Counterview Desk
Even as opposition to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) allegedly to rig polls is growing, a group of prominent citizens who have come together to form the EVM Virodhi Rashtriya Jan Andolan has controversially called for a national protest against EVMs on May 30, demanding future elections should be held only on ballot paper.

When a Pak scribe said Modi has 'proved' Jinnah’s two nation theory right...

By Zafar Agha*
It was around nine in the morning on May 24, 2019, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed the Lok Sabha with 300-plus MPs. It was a call from a journalist friend, Muzamal Suhrawardy, from Lahore, Pakistan. I ignored the call. We liberals had a depressing day the previous evening as the opposition to Modi and BJP collapsed. The results belied reports from the ground and even assessments made by colleagues.

It's now official: Akshay Kumar has not been conferred honorary Canadian citizenship

By Our Representative
It is now official. Super-star Akshay Kumar has not been conferred any honorary citizenship by Canadian authorities, as claimed by him ahead of the 2019 elections. In reply to a query by Roshan Shah, who is a Canadian citizen living in Waterloo, Ontario, and belongs to Ahmedabad, the country’s authorities dealing with issues related with immigration, refugees and citizenship in Canada have said that only six persons have so far been granted honorary citizenship.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

If EC's credibility is under question, shouldn't one "assume" EVMs might be tampered?

Counterview Desk
Gauhar Raza, scientist, documentary film maker and poet; senior human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi of the Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD); military veteran Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury (retd); and Sucheta De and Sandeep Saurav of the All India Students' Association (AISA), have asked “individuals, organisations and people's movements” to send their endorsement to an appeal they have prepared on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

Govt of India overestimated GDP by 2.5%, must restore reputational damage: Ex-CEA

By Rajiv Shah
Top economist Arvind Subramanian has said that changes brought about by the Government of India in data sources and methodology for estimating the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 “has led to a significant overestimation of growth”. While official estimates place annual average GDP growth between 2011-12 and 2016-17 at about 7 percent, the actual growth may have been 4½ percent, ranging from 3 ½ to 5 ½ percent during the period, he adds.

Common thread of Modi, political Hinduism, nationalism? 'Contest' of ideas isn't over

By Salman Khurshid*
Losing the 2019 election and that too in a somewhat extreme manner has confronted us with unexpected challenges: Our leadership has naturally taken it very hard and to heart but with suggested options that we cannot imagine or contemplate. Hopefully the emotions will settle soon and give us the direction to pick up the pieces and march again.

Will minorities in India be 2nd class citizens? Wake up call: Be a 'communicating' Church

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
India today is at a defining moment of her history. There is so much that has taken place in the past five years (and particularly in the last ten days)- that several citizens of the country are genuinely concerned about the future of the country! Will democracy survive? Will key elements of the Constitution be changed?