J&K leaders question decision to hand over electricity from Ratle Project to Rajasthan - Hindustan Times
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J&K leaders question decision to hand over electricity from Ratle Project to Rajasthan

By, Srinagar
Jan 07, 2024 05:00 AM IST

Due to slow discharge of water in rivers and streams in J&K, the union territory is facing lot of power crisis with frequent power cuts

The political parties in J&K have expressed concern over the administration handing over Ratle Power Project Kishtwar to Rajasthan for 40 years, pointing out that Jammu and Kashmir itself is facing ‘severe power crisis’.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti. (AP)
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti. (AP)

Due to slow discharge of water in rivers and streams in J&K, the union territory is facing lot of power crisis with frequent power cuts.

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Former J&K chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti termed it as collective punishment to inhabitants of UT.

“At a time when J&K is facing a severe power crisis never witnessed before our hydro electric resources are being outsourced to other states. Yet another decision that will rob people of basic amenities with an intention to collectively punish inhabitants of J&K,” Mufti wrote on X (formerly twitter).

Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari requested the Lt governor Manoj Sinha to clear the air about handing over power project to Rajasthan government.

“At a time when the entire Jammu and Kashmir is facing an acute electricity crisis, especially in its rural areas, the reported leasing out of electricity from Ratle Power Project Kishtwar to Rajasthan is quite puzzling. The J&K administration has off and on came on record claiming that it has been buying the power supply from other states to meet the demands in the union territory, while at the same time leasing out its own supply to another state is beyond comprehension,” Bukhari said in a statement adding that the J&K administration to come clear on the facts.

National Conference (NC) also demanded that the ruling government should clear the air on the agreement between Jammu Kashmir State Power Development Corporation and Rajasthan Urja Vikas and IT Services Limited, as it has created a lot of misgivings among the people of Jammu & Kashmir.

“Facts of the matter - normally power purchase agreements usually last for a maximum of 20 years. However in this case they are signing it for 40 years at a pre-negotiated price which is also unknown. There has been a feeling of betrayal among the people of J&K that their resources are being bartered away. The fresh agreement for offtake of electricity for a period of 40 years from the commercial operation by Rajasthan Urja Vikas and IT services has further added to the looming scepticism. Government should bring out a white paper on the agreement informing people about its underlying purpose and what benefits will J&K reap from it,” NC spokesman Inam Nabi Dar said in a statement.

He said that the agreement has stirred the hornet’s nest as the terms and conditions on the face of it are seemingly to the disadvantage of J&K. “The government should have prioritised providing electricity to the domestic consumers firstly as the looming energy crises being severely felt across J&K was far from over. For electricity starved people of J&K, is this agreement a solution? It’s a question that the government has to answer. It makes no sense that at a time when J&K is grappling with electricity crisis, the government is selling out electricity to other states,” he added and sought answers from the government.

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