Srinagar, Neyaz Elahi,Aug 26, CNS: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday said that State Government would not give a single Hydroelectric Power Project to NHPC without an agreement of a Joint Venture that would mandate the return of the project to the State after an agreed upon period of time. He was talking to reporters after the foundation stone laying ceremony of Common Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) in Raj Bagh Srinagar.
Omar Abdullah said that the State Government will only cooperate with NHPC if NHPC cooperated with the State Government in return.
“There are various projects under the consideration of the State Government and there are various projects that NHPC has been expressing an interest in. Let me make it very clear – if NHPC does not agree to sign Joint Venture agreements for these projects with the State Government, we would choose that these projects wait till the State can invest in them independently rather than handing them over to the NHPC", Omar Abdullah said.
Omar Abdullah said that the State Government’s and National Conference’s priority was that J&K becomes self-reliant in the Power Sector and that huge strides were taken towards this goal in the last five and a half years with the addition of more than 1,500 Megawatts of Power to the State’s Power Portfolio. “In addition to the 1,500 Megawatts already added, edifice has been laid for an additional 9,000 Megawatts of hydro-power to be added in the coming years. We have focused on development of Hydro-Power in the State through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) and Joint Venture formats so that the State can get these projects back after stipulated time periods. This policy will continue. It is our compulsion for lack of indigenous funding to invite external firms to develop our vast hydro-electric power potential but we are also ensuring that these projects are returned to the State at the completion of the agreed upon contracts and agreements”, Omar Abdullah said.
Responding to another question about BJP President Amit Shah’s remarks in Jammu, NC Working President Omar Abdullah said that Mr. Shah should first look at States ruled by BJP Chief Ministers before pontificating and giving unsolicited sermons elsewhere. “The State and people of J&K don’t need lessons from Mr. Shah. He should first look at politics of succession and entitlement within BJP before giving sermons to anyone else”, the NC Working President said.
Omar Abdullah also questioned Shah’s statement on the State Government’s response to the migration crisis of citizens from the Line of Control and International Border. “The State Government has always been there to take care of our people who suffer from ceasefire violations and senior ministers from the State Government, including the Minister of State for Home, have repeatedly visited these camps to inquire about the welfare of the people there. The State Government has spoken up for the right to safety and normality for these people and will continue to do whatever is necessary for their welfare. We are not in need of lessons from anyone else”, Omar Abdullah said.
The NC Working President also said that he wondered what five Union Ministers from New Delhi did about the humanitarian issue of displaced border inhabitants on their official visits to the State. “How many of these Union Ministers actually visited the areas along the border and Line of Control where people have been displaced because of ceasefire violations? There is a mismatch between what Amit Shah is saying and the approach of the Central Government and its Union Ministers towards those displaced by these ceasefire violations. As far as the State Government is concerned, we will continue to extend all possible help and support to the displaced citizens”, the NC Working President added. (CNS)