Srinagar: Asserting that interests of Jammu and Kashmir were “sacrificed” in the Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said he was reluctant to give future power projects to NHPC even as the corporation was keen to develop new projects in the state.
“As much as NHPC would like the state government to hand over more projects to them, I am extremely reluctant to do that, simply because in the long term it is not beneficial to the state to follow that model,” Omar said at the National Hydro Power Convention here.
Omar said if the electricity giant National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) was willing to offer more pleasing terms to the state, they may then get the new projects.
“How do I justify 12 per cent free electricity plus one per cent local area (offered by NHPC) when I compare it to Ratle, which is the project we most recently allotted, where I get 16 per cent free electricity, I get 55 per cent electricity at the tariff of Rs 1.44 and after 35 years I am the owner of that project. Tomorrow if NHPC offers me terms like that I will be more than happy to give them these projects,” Omar said.
He said the state government and NHPC are involved in discussion about the “long term ownership” of the projects that NHPC already has with it.
The Chief Minister said, “Every drop of water that flows through these rivers without my being able to extract electricity from, is an irreparable loss”.
Omar said the interests of the state were “completely sacrificed” when India and Pakistan signed water agreement.
“When an agreement was signed between India and Pakistan, the interests of the state of Jammu and Kashmir were completely sacrificed,” Omar said, referring to the IWT which only allows construction of power projects based on run of the water.