News Notes

Another COMMITTEE    

Finally state government has constituted a Task Force headed by the Administrative Secretary, General Administration Department, to look into the circumstances leading to the misplacement of records pertaining to Cabinet decision of 1975 on Salal Hydroelectric Project.

The formation of the Task Force was done on the recommendations of the Cabinet Sub-Committee headed by Finance Minister, Abdul Rahim Rather.

The Task Force is assigned to look for records related to very important Cabinet decision of 1975 from Cabinet Section of GAD, Power Development Department, Raj Bhawan, Archives Department, Government Order File and Gazetted Section. The recommended committee dubbed this as a serious lapse on part of officials which caused exchequers losses worth crores of rupees.

On the other hand another committee headed by Advocate General was preparing a road-map for seeking damages from NHPC on account of losses suffered by the government.

The Task Force is assigned to trace a file containing Cabinet Decision No. 328 of 1975 related to the agreement reached between Union Power Ministry and state government regarding Salal Hydroelectric Project.

“It has become imperative to look into the circumstances and fix the responsibility for necessary action,” sources said.

The state government claims that as per the agreement, the indirect reference of which has been found in the records related to the Dul Hasti Hydroelectric Project, the state government was entitled to 50 per cent of the power from the Salal Project and also half of the share obtained from sale of remaining 50 per cent of electricity.

The state officials also claim that there was also a condition in the agreement about return of the project to the State against a payment at the depreciated cost. But now with original documents missing from the State archives, it was not possible to implement the agreement reached between the two parities after completion of the project in 1987-88.

As per the power sharing agreement (1985), State was entitled to 47 per cent of total power produced from Salal Project however the actual allocation was only about 35 per cent.

According to sources the power sharing agreement of 1985 was never implemented in totality and as a result State has suffered loss of Rs 2350.85 crore so far (ending 2011) since the project was commissioned in 1987-88.

Home Ministers VISIT

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, who was on a day long visit to Kashmir stressed for adoption of legal courses for all Kashmiri militants, who were returning from Pakistan and Pakistan administered Kashmir via Nepal unless they fell in the category of Rehabilitation Policy adopted by the J&K government.

The MHA approved Rehabilitation Policy had fixed four routes – Poonch-Rawlakote, Uri-Muzaffarabad (both on Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir), Wagah International Border (Amritsar, Punjab) and Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport New Delhi for return of the Kashmiri militants.

The Screening Committee has already cleared 175 of 800 applications received from the families of the militants of Jammu and Kashmir camping in Pakistan and PaK for past several years. Nearly 150 persons including militants, their Pakistani wives and children have returned from Pakistan and PaK during past one and a half years especially after the announcement of Rehabilitation Policy by the state government, which had been approved by the union home ministry.

Presiding over a review meeting, which was attended by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Chidambaram reviewed the security arranged for Amarnath yatra which will start from June 25. He also directed the authorities to make all security arrangements for tourists and Amarnath yatris during summer in the Valley.

It was decided that MHA will provide 74 additional companies of paramilitary forces for smooth run of Amarnath yatra, while rest of the companies would be mobilized from already deployed forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

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