Flagging the issue of return of power projects by NHPC to the State as of significant importance and critically essential for the energy supply and economic development in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Saturday reiterated that losses caused to the State on account of Indus Water Treaty (IWT) are enormous.
In a statement issued on Saturday, an official spokesman said: “Omar Abdullah said that while both India and Pakistan have been benefited by Indus Water Treaty, the State of Jammu and Kashmir has been put to disadvantageous position. He said due to this treaty Jammu and Kashmir cannot utilize its water resources to its will for generating hydro power, irrigating agriculture fields and providing drinking water to the people. He mentioned the hurdle recently brought under Indus Water Treaty for launch of huge water supply project for Greater Jammu to utilize Chenab water to meet the requirements of the people for next 25 years.”
The Chief Minister was addressing a high level meeting of the officers of Union Power Ministry and J&K State Power Development Department which was also participated by the Union Minister of State for Power (Independent Charge) Pyuish Goyal, J&K Minister of State for Power, Vikar Rasool, Chief Secretary, Mohammad Iqbal Khandey, Union Power Secretary, Devendra Choudhary, J&K Principal Secretaries, B. R. Sharma, B. B. Vyas, Suresh Kumar, A. K. Mehta and senior officers from various Union Power Agencies and State Government Power Department.
Omar Abdullah said that quality and affordable power to the consumers in the State has remained his government’s priority in the last about six years. He said while sufficient measures were taken to upgrade the infrastructure and improve power distribution and transmission system, the focus remained on indigenous power generation.
He said power sector is the key sector to bring turn around in the economic development in the State besides making adequate energy available to the people and exporting the surplus. “This is the sector which can transform the State from the deficit to the surplus one”, he said and added that projects of the capacity of 1500 MWs have been launched during the last about six years while projects of the capacity of over 9000 MWs are in different stages of execution.
The Chief Minister said that old infrastructure has been upgraded or replaced to improve the transmission and distribution system. He said two Data Centres have been established one each in Srinagar and Jammu to benefit the consumers and digitalize the system of transaction and other aspects. He said under flagship programmes like R-APDRP and RGGVY, the system is being further improvised.
He said R-APDRP will be rolled out fully in the towns and the two cities in coming months.
While welcoming the Union Minister and thanking him for the interest he is showing in the fast track development of power projects in Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Minister expressed the hope that the various power projects under execution in the State would be completed in the fixed time frame with the support of the Centre Government.
He described the deliberations of the meeting highly productive and a major step to address the issues and find out befitting ways and means to settle these.
Omar Abdullah mentioned PMRP under which Jammu and Kashmir received funds for power and other projects.
He said that the huge amounts earmarked for the development and completion of power projects has not been utilized by the Centre. He said these funds can be transferred to the State through the window of PMRP for completion of various power projects.