NHPC Claim Has No Legs To Stand On: Civil Society

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SRINAGAR: Terming a recent statement by a top NHPC officer as “threatening,” civil society in Kashmir on Wednesday said that the Corporation’s stand on power projects in the state had been disproved with documentary evidence.

The financial director of the NHPC had yesterday day said that returning power projects to Jammu and Kashmir was “out of the question” owing to the nature of the agreements between the Corporation and the state.

Refuting the remarks, business leader and civil society member Shakeel Qalandar said that an RTI query had shown that the Corporation had no documents in its possession to substantiate this claim.

“The statement is threatening, emotional, fabricated and indicates frustration,” Qalandar said, adding that it had been issued by a “mere employee” of the NHPC and did not merit a response.

“Civil society in Kashmir has an issue with the state and central government. An employee of the corporation has no authority to issue statements on such sensitive matters,” he said.

Qalandar, who is also a member of the Kashmir Centre for Social and Developmental Studies (KCSDS), said that NHPC had grown bolder due to the inertia of the state government.

“The NHPC has no document in its possession to show that it has a right over power projects in Jammu and Kashmir. The Corporation has not taken land (for the projects) on lease, nor does it have a licence,” he said.

“Power projects can be set up in Jammu and Kashmir only under the state’s constitution, and agreements have to be framed, and licences obtained, under the J and K Electricity Act. The NHPC has done neither,” he said.

“Its control of power projects here is illegal and unconstitutional,” he said.

 “The state government’s role has been disappointing. It wants to wash its hands off the entire issue,” he said.

“Statements from the former PHE minister Taj Mohiuddin seemed to suggest that something would happen on the ground. But it turned out to be a staged drama and eyewash only,” he said.         

“Civil society demands that the government scrap agreements with the NHPC. We will launch an agitation if the state continues its lack of action,” he said.  

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