Srinagar, June 16: Taking a strong exception to the Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s opposition to revision of royalty agreements on NHPC owned projects in the State, CPI (M) leader and MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said that demanding an increase in royalty and return of power projects is a legitimate and inalienable right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
In a statement issued here, Tarigami said that J&K cannot be compared with any other state in the country as the state is a direct victim of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) between India and Pakistan. He said while both India and Pakistan have been benefited by Indus Water Treaty, J&K has been put to a disadvantageous position.
“Let me remind Mr Goyal that due to IWT, J&K is made to bear a recurring loss of billions of dollars annually. J&K is not in a position to harness its 15000 MW power generation potential due to this unreasonable treaty,” Tarigami said while urging the central government to compensate these losses.
The CPI (M) leader remarked that J&K has every justifiable to be accorded a participatory status in view of the contours of Indus Water Treaty so that it could get additional power generated from the Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers for its own requirements.
“We can`t make an optimum use of waters of the Indus, Chenab and Jehlum rivers for power generation and irrigation. We cannot raise dams and reservoirs for storing water which could be utilised during the lean period. This goes against the interests of our State,” he said while terming Mr Goyal’s remarks as unjustifiable and uncalled for.
Tarigami urged the Union Power minister to go through various recommendations made by Rangarajan Committee that has advocated return of certain hydroelectric power projects to the state free of cost.
The CPI (M) leader said the working group formed by the Prime Minister after the Round Table Conference in 2005 to look into the economic affairs of the state had also supported the persistent and legitimate public demand for return of power projects to the state.
Similarly he said that raising free power quota from existing 12 per cent to 30 per cent in all Centre Sector Hydroelectric Projects (HEPs) in the state is a legitimate demand which should be fulfilled if the union government is serious to streamline the precarious power situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
2015 Kashmir Despatch