The National Hydro Power Project (NHPC) is “illegally and unconstitutionally” generating electricity from the power projects under its execution in Kashmir, an RTI filed by a Kashmiri social activist has revealed.
The applicant, Tufail Khalid had in 2009 filed an RTI seeking information on the following points: (1) Agreement executed by J&K Government with NHPC in respect of various power projects with water capacity in each dam of these projects. (2) How much share the state government is getting from the agreement entered with GoI. (3) How many agreements entered with NHPC have lapsed?
As stipulated, the J&K State Information Commission asked the J&K State Power Development Department to furnish the complete details of the agreements to the information seeker—Tufail Khalid.
What was shocking to know in the light of information sought, Tufail said was that J&K government has signed MoU on 7 projects—out of the total 14 handed over to NHPC during the regime of then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah in 2000— and has not entered into any agreement on the projects executed by NHPC currently in Kashmir.
“There is a lot of difference between a MoU and agreement…..i had sought details of the agreements J&K government entered with GoI…but the information furnished by PDD clearly states that no agreement has been entered into on Uri-1, Salal and Dulhasti etc power projects,” Tufail said.
He added that the PIO JKSPDC in his reply vide his letter dated 28.03.2013 ( No.PDD/Genl14/ 2013/RTI) stated that the agreements for the said projects—save Baglihar which is a state sector project— have been executed between J&K govt. and GoI.
The noted social activist said that the letter further stated that a photocopy of the MoU of July 2000 signed lies with JKSPDC-detailing about the 7 projects transferred to NHPC.
“The letter clearly stated that no information regarding the agreement entered into Uri-1 (generating (350 MW), Dulhasti and Salal is available with the JKSPDC office,” Tufail revealed.
However, the social activist adds that the hair-raising question the JKSPDC response raises is barring the MoU entered into seven projects—Kishanganga HEP, Uri II, Bursar, Sewa II, Pakal Dul, Nimoo Bazgo, Chutak—no separate agreements stands entered with NHPC for the other 7 power projects being executed by it. The JKSPDC response to the RTI, Tufail reveals clearly states that no agreement with NHPC exists on the projects being executed by it in Kashmir.
The young social activist informs that NHPC earns Rs 2300 crores per day from the power projects it executes in Kashmir. “Out of the total 10,000 MWs NHPC generates across India, 5,400 MWs are generated in Kashmir only. When the then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah had handed over the 14 projects to GoI in 2000 nothing was agreed onto as how the state, particularly, Kashmir would benefit out of it,” he said.
“…..there is no mention of the J&K’s share from the revenues generated by NHPC from our water resources. What was decided on that 12% of the generated electricity during summers and 15 percent during winters would be supplied free of cost to the state,” informsTufail while adding that NHPC doesn’t even pay the royalty and towards the state government.
Under such circumstances, he said, “it looks improbable that NHPC would pay the state government its share and the compensation from the from the power projects executed by it here.
While criticizing Dr. Farooq Abdullah for allowing NHPC to loot the water resources in J&K, Tufail even had a panning for Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Omar Abdullah
He said that despite being powerful enough to retrieve the power projects at the stroke of their pens, these chief ministers are remaining silent to appease their masters at the Centre.