NC Election-Time Professional Party: PC

SRINAGAR: In the light of the comments by Union Minister of State for Power Jyotirditya M Scindia, it is now clear that the Omar Abdullah led government is brazenly lying to the people of J&K and his government has never formally asked for the return of these power projects or initiated a process to even look for ways through which such settlements could be reached, Peoples Conference said today.

This revelation is similar to the earlier embarrassing revelation that the Omar Abdullah government has never formally or legally approached the Central Government for revocation of AFSPA from the State either. It appears that the NC led government is interested in nothing beyond election-time professional chest beating about problems of their own creation.

It is the NC that has signed of the economic interests of the Kashmiri nation by signing atrocious agreements with the NHPC and now it is the NC that is pretending to be the victim of its own atrocities. What has stopped the NC led government from introducing a resolution for the return of power projects in the State Assembly? What has stopped the NC led government from introducing a resolution for the revocation of AFSPA in the State Assembly? The fact of the matter is that NC survives on a Machiavellian ploy of inventing issues for our people and then pretending to be weeping boys over the same issues.

J&K gets only 12 percent power share from the projects that NHPC has constructed on our rivers. Are we children of a lesser God that we live amidst power cuts while power generated from our own rivers illuminates the rest of the country? Omar Abdullah also handed over the Baghliar power project - the only power project that was constructed by the State – to NHPC in 2009. PDP has done the same in its tenure by carrying on the policy of bartering our natural resources for their personal political and financial ambitions. Since the power-industry is a high-stakes industry and involves enormous amounts of money in terms of capital investments and revenue potential, our politicians – be those from NC or PDP – have made personal fortunes by being apologetic pimps of our hydro-electric resources. There are apprehensions and allegations of top-level corruption in the recent power-project deals that have been undertaken on the PPP (Public Private Partnership) pattern. As usual, these allegations have been ignored and have been brushed under the carpet without any probes or investigations.

The water that has flowed from our glaciers and snow reserves cannot be reclaimed. Like the Saudis had the gift of oil to usher them into prosperity and economic independence, Kashmiris were gifted by the natural resources of snow and water – a natural resource that, despite the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) has a capacity to generate 20,000 MWs of power. However, our politicians sold our natural resources for a pittance to both prove their loyalty to New Delhi and to ensure their own political survival. The matter of J&K and NHPC is a story of treachery by our own allegedly ‘regional’ political parties.

Omar Abdullah’s “warnings” to NHPC are ludicrous. Rather than issuing such “warnings” in Kishtwar, Omar Abdullah should formally convey these through proper political and legal channels however that would be asking for too much from a party that has been a signatory to shady deals with the NHPC. NC is a culprit in this case and is ironically espousing to be a victim at the same time.

The Omar Abdullah government should also have some shame and desist from arrogant moral sermonizing over power-usage considering the fact that J&K at 22 percent has one of the highest power duties in the entire country. Adding salt to the wounds of a nation subjected to darkness, Chief Engineers of the Power Development Department are now sermonizing like infallible, moral pontiffs as if it is the people of this State who are responsible for the power mess and not their governments. I wonder how Mr. Omar Abdullah finds the courage to sermonize about T&D losses and power tariff considering how he had, during his campaign in 2008, asked people to mount electric poles and break electricity meters when he takes over. His slogans of “meter nahi, heater!” were real. As real as his government’s hypocrisy and lies about confronting NHPC, apparently in their dreams.

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