With assembly polls round the corner, chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday chose to lock horns with the Centre over return of power projects by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).
"Return of power projects by the NHPC to the state is of significant importance and critically essential for the energy supply and economic development in Jammu and Kashmir," said Abdullah.
He chaired a high-level meeting of the officers of union power ministry and J&K State Power Development Department. Union minister of state for power (independent charge) Pyuish Goyal was present on the occasion.
Claiming that the Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan was "a cause of enormous losses to J&K", Abdullah said, "While both India and Pakistan benefited from the treaty, J&K was put to disadvantageous position."
He said the treaty remained "a hurdle for the launch of huge water supply project for Greater Jammu to utilise Chenab water to meet the requirements of the people for next 25 years".
Three power projects that the J&K government intends to take over are 690-MW Salal, 480-MW Uri (1) and 390-MW Dulhasti.
Describing the power sector as the "key sector" to turn around economic development here, Abdullah said, "Projects of the capacity of 1500 MW have been launched during the last six years while projects of the capacity of over 9000 MW are in different stages of execution."
In response to demands of return of NHPC power projects to J&K, union power minister Goyal said the Centre has no role in returning the NHPC-operated power projects to Jammu and Kashmir.
"It's (NHPC) a listed company. The state government should talk directly to the NHPC if it wants return of power projects," said Goyal.
Goyal said the issues between the state and the union power ministry can be easily resolved "through the process of meetings and interactions".
"The union ministry will provide full cooperation in moving ahead confidently on road to achieve new goals in power development sector. A huge potential of 20,000 MW of hydro energy is available. If harnessed, it would not only give significant boost to the state's economy but also benefit the country," said the union minister.
He said generation of 20,000 MW should be the goal for us to achieve in near future. "Let it happen in our time," he added.
J&K power projects
14 projects with capacity of 6,263 MW are in the state sector
5 projects with the capacity of 1679 MW in the central sector
One mega project with 850 MW under the IPP mode
37 small projects with 453 MW also under the IPP mode
In 2013-14, six projects with a capacity of 355 MW have been commissioned while 25 projects with 1980 MW are under various stages of execution.
20 projects with the total capacity of 2237 MW have been tendered out and six projects with the capacity of 4669 MW are at the clearance stage.
Major NHPC projects
120-MW Sewa, 330-MW Kishen Ganga, 240-MW Uri-II, 1020-Bursar, 1000-MW Pakul Dul, 45-MW Nemu-Bazgo and 44-MW Chutak