Senior Congress leader and former Irrigation and Flood Control minister Taj Mohiuddin Thursday while pitching for the return of the power projects to JK from NHPC, said the state government has a strong case and enough money to claim at least two projects from the Corporation.
Taj, who earlier raised these issues when he was ministe, once again came out in open, saying if the present dispensation cannot even bring back its power projects, ‘what else can it do?’
The senior Congress leader while talking to KNS said, “The cabinet sub- committee earlier submitted a detailed report over the return of the power projects in NHPC which was approved by the cabinet. Atleast there are two projects Salal and Uri-I which can easily be brought back by the state government.”
“We have that much of funds with us which can buy back these two projects. We can afford this much. It is 1.20 paisa per unit in Salal and 60 paisa in Uri –I. We can make a start by bringing back these two projects from the NHPC, if not all,” he revealed.
Taj said that the government can bring back the two projects anytime it wants to and can end the power crisis in the state. “The ball is completely in the court of the state government. It can hold negotiations with NHPC or can approach the Supreme Court. I can only say that we have a very strong case and we are in a win-win situation,” he said.
The Congress leader added that the money for buying back the power projects lies in the separate account of JK government, collected as revenue from the water resources. “The amounts are meant to either start a new power project or to buy back the earlier ones. Dulhasti, we cannot afford as the cost per unit is high. Uri-I and Salal are very much affordable and the state dispensation can anytime take a call over such projects with the NHPC,” he said.
Pertinently, Taj had earlier informed the House on 5 October 2013 that state has earned Rs 925 crore from water usage charges levied on power projects.
The NHPC has paid Rs 700 crore while the State Power Development Corporation has paid the remaining amount. The earning will increase by another Rs 210 crore with the commissioning of the Uri-II power project.