Scrap deal with NHPC, PDP to J and K Government

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Srinagar, Oct 16 (UNI) Expressing anguish over the alleged arbitrary exploitation of Jammu and Kashmir's land, water and natural resources, former Finance Minister Tariq Hameed Karra today said the people of Jammu and Kashmir must rise against the ''organised plunder and loot.'' In a statement issued here today, Mr Karra said the recent handing-over of seven power projects by the State Government to National Hydro Electric Power Corporation (NHPC) is extremely detrimental for J&K's economic interests.

He said it is ironic that instead of compensating Jammu and Kashmir for the huge recurring losses it is suffering because of the discriminatory Indus Water Treaty (IWT), the Centre is even running away with whatever little water resources are left for the State's own use.

Mr Karra said, ''I don't think any state in the country would allow such highhandedness, and added that ironically because of the IWT, Jammu and Kashmir is forced to pay a huge price for the economic prosperity of the most of the Northern states in the country.

He said the state government should not only immediately scrap the deal it has struck with the NHPC for the proposed seven power projects in the state, but should also seek transfer of Salal and Uri Power Projects to Jammu and Kashmir to compensate its IWT losses.

If this is not done, the PDP would launch a struggle to put and end to the exploitation of the state's resources and safeguard its economic interests, he said. The Central Government must also compensate the State through other means for the Rs 6000 crore annual recurring losses it is suffering because of IWT. ''Instead of bringing in NHPC through backdoor to exploit the state's water resources, the Central Government must facilitate the power-starved Jammu and Kashmir to construct mega-power projects on its own,'' he said.

Expressing concern over the unrestricted expansion of security establishments over the state's prime land, Mr Karra said the Government must take measures to check such activities forthwith.

Criticising the unresponsive and apathetic attitude of the bureaucracy towards the problems of the people, Karra said the administration must reach out to the public instead of confining themselves to the corridors of power.

UNI XC ASM AB NS1740

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