JAMMU, Jan 12: Though much is being said by the PDP-BJP Coalition Government about transfer of power projects from NHPC to State, the Union Government has yet not shown any readiness in this regard as such key developmental agenda of present dispensation in J&K is unlikely to become reality.
This can be gauged from the reply given by the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, who is also Minister Incharge Power, in response to the question of National Conference MLA from Nagrota, Devender Singh Rana in the Legislative Assembly.
Rana had asked if the State Government has approached the Union Government to transfer Dulhasti, Salal and Uri Hydro Power Projects to J&K as suggested in the Rangarajan Committee Report and Round Table Report.
The Deputy Chief Minister said, “the transfer of power projects is an important part of the developmental agenda of the BJP-PDP Coalition Government”, adding “as mentioned by the Finance Minister in the Power Budget speech for the year 2015-16, the Government would actively pursue transfer of hydro projects from NHPC”.
He further said that budget provided funds for meeting the operation and maintenance cost of such power projects to be transferred from NHPC. The Deputy Chief Minister informed the House that on March 16, 2015, he and the Finance Minister met the Union Power Minister formally and impressed upon the Union Government the need for transfer of power projects of Dul Hasti and Uri from NHPC to State among other important issues of power sector.
“Subsequently, this issue was raised in various Power Ministers’ Conferences”, the Deputy Chief Minister further said. He, however, didn’t apprise the House whether the Union Government has made any commitment in this regard.
“The State Government is actively pursuing the transfer of power projects”, he added. However, the observers are the opinion that had Union Power Ministry taken the demand of the J&K seriously it would have certainly initiated steps in this regard as nearly two years have lapsed since the issue was first raised with the Union Government in March 2015.
For want of green signal from the Union Government, the State Government will not be able to translate its key developmental agenda into reality.