‘Govt to Rehabilitate Gurez People Keeping in View Future Power Projects’

Riyaz Ul Khaliq

SRINAGAR

Dr Nirmal Singh
Dr Nirmal Singh

Jammu and Kashmir Government Monday revealed that it is forming a policy viz-a-viz rehabilitation of those affected by any power project in state.

Power Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, was responding issues raised by lawmakers, NC’s Nazir A Gurezi who represents Gurez and Congress’ Usman Majid who represents Bandipora.

“We had formed a committee about the rehabilitation of families which were displaced by the on-going construction of Kishanganga power project in Gurez,” Dr Singh informed the lower house. Gurezi is chairing the Zero House of the house.

“We have taken review of the recommendations mad eby the committee,” Dr Singh said, “but we are making such a policy which will take care of the future power projects which J&K Government intends to take up.”

Thousands of people have migrated from Gurez to Bandipora and other Kashmir valley parts due the construction of Kishanganga power project. The Gurez inhabitants are saying that the coming up of the multi MWs power project has adversely impacted the environment of the area.

“We want to construct power projects having our own policy,” Dr Singh further said. He was asked by the lawmakers to allot alternative land and adequate compensation to the affected families.

Deputy speaker Gurezi and Usman Majid informed the house that the company which is executing the project has “not given anything under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)”.

The project started in 2008. “Government of India has given you money for rehabilitation which you should give to people,” the deputy speaker told the Power Minister.

“We have taken a comprehensive review,” Dr Singh responded, “whatever possible will be done but we are keeping in mind that it should not impact the future projects which we intend to take up.”

After this, Congress lawmaker Vikar Rasool claimed that that the executing agency of Baglihar Power Project “has not spent anything on CSR front”. “Under law, they are supposed to utilise two percent of the total cost on local development which the Baglihar power project executing agency has not done,” Vikar told the house. “Please get it done,” he told the power minister. “Similar is the case with Railway project essentially in Ramban.”

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