The letter, two years earlier, shot by then senior minister to then chief minister Omar Abdullah, has made shocking revelation over the delay done in completion of several projects in the state and loss to the state exchequer worth crores every year.
Senior Congress leader and then PHE minister Taj Mohi-ud- had in a written communication to Omar, two years earlier, asked him for the completion of the Wullar project to increase JK’s power capacity “but pleas were thrown to the dustbin.”
Taj on 28 May 2013 had shot a detailed letter to Omar over the construction of balance portion, extension of main Ravi Canal upstream Ravi River from Basantpur right upto the inflow of reservoir of Ranjit Sagar Dam, Tawi barrage and Wular barrage.
The letter, a copy of which lies with Kashmir News Service (KNS), reveals that about the Wullar Barrage, Taj Mohi-ud-din wrote to Omar that the project was the dream of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and the work on Tulbul Project was started but staled due to the objections raised by Pakistan at that time. “No doubt it could have been pursued by the state government which was not done. However, alternate project was conceived within the allowed provisions of IWT and 60 percent of the world was completed during my tenure as the I/C minister for PHC/I&FC but the project met the same fate,” the letter reads.
“On Wullar project Government of India has agreed in toto to the project, which will increase the power production during winter months from 08-10 percent to 70-80 percent, besides increasing the area of the Wullar lake from present 24 Sq kms to 89 kms for nine months. The project after completion will give an additional revenue of Rs 72 crore as water usage charges. Not only this but will generate an income of 2.50 crore rupees per annum from eco-tourism, beside 100 percent increase in the fish production from 4245 MTS to 8000MTs annually,” reads the letter.
“What worries me most is that these big ticket projects could have boosted the morale of the state government and given it the reason to cheer but in fact are not set to shake the credibility of present coalition government when we are going for polls any time now,” it added.
Over the delay in the completion of the Tawi Barrage, then minister wrote to then CM that the project was scheduled to be completed by July 2013 but no headway has been made on it. “Since I have left the department, there is no headway in this project. The project will create two kms long lake and generate 500 cusecs of water discharge which can be utilized for irrigation and re-charge of ground water purposes. Further the project would give the tourist influx to the city of temples,” it reads.
As the two most vital project were kept in limbo by the previous government, it remains to be seen what measures the new government would take for their completion which as per records has the capacity to generate revenue in crores besides irrigating the barren lands of the state.