Unnecessary fuss over return of Hydroelectric Projects

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The return of Hydroelectric Power Projects has become another hot potato like AFSPA and withdrawal of troops from various parts of valley. Union Minister for Power Piyush Goyal spoke without mincing words. He out rightly rejected the idea of returning Power Projects to Jammu and Kashmir government. He said demands cannot be transacted into government decisions.
Goyal’s categorical ‘no’ should have opened the eyes of the government and instead of wasting time on frivolous demands which have lost relevance among the commoners in Jammu and Kashmir, the government should have talked about making focused efforts in saving the losses it suffers due to illegal connections, lack of metering and above all, old and worn-out infrastructure. If power projects cannot be brought back, better is to connect the power distribution system in the state.
Jammu and Kashmir government should understand that the dream of getting power projects back from NHPC is unlikely to see light of the day. Baglihar is state owned but is being run by NHPC. If this is what the state is capable of, then it is better to let NHPC do what it is doing. One needs not to mention how state engineers of PDD and PHE run away if posted in Baglihar or any other Hydroelectric Project. None wants to be posted at a place where they are supposed to run a Hydroelectric Project.
Minister of Finance Haseeb Drabu, who is known for fantastic idea, should not have compounded the issue by claiming that state government was seriously considering getting two projects back. There was no need. The truth is known to one and all. From Rangarajan committee to 3-member panel, all have recommended return of Power Projects but none has been heard so-far. If this is the case, then Drabu should better stop making statements purely for public consumption.
The sooner he does this, better it would be. Drabu should not make PDD a laughing stock by staying things which are beyond his prowess. The Finance Minister should not speak out of turn and instead keep his focus in improving the state of finances in the state. Need of the hour is to conserve power. Power Projects are unlikely to come back. But if the state government decides to improve the power scenario then that is the only way out of this mess.

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