Continuing its efforts to bridge trust deficit with neighbouring Pakistan, the government on Monday announced to supply 500 MWs of electricity to Pakistan as a major confidence building measure.
"Pakistan has asked us for power. We have decided to supply 500 megawatts to them immediately. We have power and they are in need," said Union power secretary Dhruv Vijay Singh during the 7th International Hydel Power Convention at SKICC auditorium in Srinagar.
"They (Pakistan) asked us politely, we said sure," said Vijay.
The power ministry has decided to make transmission lines available for Pakistan and the neighbouring country will be asked to pay at the international rates.
"Transmission lines are being laid for this purpose," said Vijay without disclosing the name of the state where these transmission lines are being laid to supply power to Pakistan.
The gesture has come despite Pakistan expressing objections to the construction of 330 MW Kishenganga hydel power project in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
"Pakistan is likely to raise objections in each and every dam constructed in Jammu and Kashmir for power generation," said Singh.
Pakistan has carried out an environmental study from below Kishenganga up to Muzaffarabad in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir.
"They (Pakistan) argues the Kishenganga project inflicts damage on fish production and population of musk deer, which they have brought in the area lately… and tourism etc," said Singh.
On these grounds Pakistan has gone to the International Court of Arbitration after the study done by an international company, Singh added.
Meanwhile, the Union power secretary asked the state government to relook at the water cess being imposed on power generators in Jammu and Kashmir.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, however, rejected the plea saying "he was not apologetic about water user charges".