NHPC claims on water cess withdrawal wrong: Taj | india | Hindustan Times
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NHPC claims on water cess withdrawal wrong: Taj

A day after National Hydroelectricity Power Corporation claimed that the Kashmir government has withdrawn the water cess it used to levy on NHPC-run hydro power projects, irrigation and public health engineering minister Taj Mohiuddin on Saturday refuted the claims saying "the corporation has already deposited Rs 453 crore with the state government.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2011 17:57 IST
Peerzada Ashiq

A day after National Hydroelectricity Power Corporation claimed that the Kashmir government has withdrawn the water cess it used to levy on NHPC-run hydro power projects, irrigation and public health engineering minister Taj Mohiuddin on Saturday refuted the claims saying "the corporation has already deposited Rs 453 crore with the state government.

"For the rest of the amount, the bills have been sent to the NHPC," said Mohiuddin in a press conference in Srinagar.

NHPC chairman-cum-managing director ABL Srivastava on Friday said in New Delhi that “The Jammu and Kashmir government has withdrawn the water cess it used to levy on NHPC-run hydro power projects in the state. This has added Rs 453 Crore to our profit in the last six months".

The Kashmir government on Saturday, however, said the NHPC has not ownership of any power project in the state. “The NHPC has no legal position on power projects run by it here. The NHPC is neither owner of any project nor it is an agent. The ownership is not vested to it as the NHPC is not the state subject,” said Mohiuddin.

The J-K government passed ammu and Kashmir Water Resources Regulation Act last year making it mandatory on the power generating companies including state owned Power Development Corporation and NHPC to pay water usage charges for exploiting water potential of state to produce energy in its power projects. Following the implementation, the government is expected to earn revenue of Rs 900 crore annually from water usage charges from the NHPC.

"In 1978, the Government of India approached the state government to amend Transfer of Property Act for allowing the NHPC to execute, operate and maintain Salal power project. We had agreement with GoI not with NHPC. The agreement ended in 1987 and since then there is no agreement with NHPC. The State Government is now keen to take the project back,” he said.

The total cost of Salal 690 MW power project is Rs 486 crore. The government, he said, would also take back Uri-I, which generates 480 MW, back from the NHPC. "It costs Rs 2100 crore," he said

The government has already written to the NHPC that it has no ownership on the water resources and will have pay for using the water.

The NHPC has gone to the Court against the water tax.