Terming the concern of the state government over non-return of Power projects by the NHPC as ‘fake’, Peoples Conference Chairman Sajjad Lone today said the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has gone into electioneering mode and ‘started making brave statements against NHPC’.
“The power crisis in the valley is yet another instance of disdain and contempt that the National Conference government shares for the very people it purports to represent. Kashmir is reeling under darkness at the onset of the upcoming Tourism season and a destination of medieval power-cuts cannot aspire to become a competitive tourism destination. The concern shown by the State Government is unambiguously fake”, the PC Chairman said in a statement issued to a local news agency, KNS.
He said the National Conference has ruled the state for decades and power-sharing agreements with NHPC in most of the cases bear their signature. “If power has been offered to the NHPC at a pittance and one sided agreements have been signed at the cost of the Kashmiri interests, it is the National Conference which has to explain why such agreements were signed. And now that the elections are coming near the Chief Minister has gone into electioneering mode and started making brave statements against the NHPC. In the last elections the same Chief Minister exhorted people to destroy electricity meters and after assuming power fleeced the same common man by increasing electricity tariffs.”
He said seeking the return of NHPC projects and generating power are two different facets of our hydro electric potential. “Omar Abdullah has now gone into the pretension mode and pretending to be the angry Kashmir boy who wants the bad NHPC boys to return our projects. Apart from pretending to get the projects back which he knows will never be returned, could Omar Abdullah explain how many mega watts of power he has added in his tenure? Water is a precious and a scarce resource and every drop of water not utilized to generate power is lost forever”, he said.
Sajad further added, “In terms of power generation even the NC Congress alliance needs to explain the complete inertia in terms of initiatives to start new power projects. They too failed to add to the power generating capacity. The Indus water treaty is often depicted as the villain and usurper of our water resources. There is no doubt that the Indus water treaty is against the Kashmiri interests. But despite the Indus water treaty in place, we still have a power generating potential of 20000 mega watts approximately. Why are successive governments- be it the PDP or the NC or the Congress, not harnessing that potential”. He said the answer lies in the political philosophy of the traditional mainstream parties- economic subjugation of the Kashmiri people. “NHPC and Indus water treaty chest beating have become convenient fig leafs to divert attention from the fact that a state with potential to generate thousands mega watts of power is a net power importer and reels under darkness. And needless to add, power generation industry is world over supposed to be the most lucrative industry in terms of both bribes and profits.”
“It’s time for NC and PDP – the plunderers of Kashmir’s resources – to answer some key questions. Why did both parties fail to add to the installed capacity during their successive governments? They can no longer hide behind the fig-leaf of the Indus Water Treaty, since despite the constraints due to the IWT; J&K can produce around 20,000 MWs. Why should Kashmiris live in the dark-ages despite being gifted with such rich and abundant power-generating natural resources?” he added.