While New Delhi continues to rule out any return of power projects to Jammu Kashmir, the State government continues to pin high hopes on it with Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu Thursday reiterating that the State would get them back from Government of India (GoI).
Talking to Kashmir Post in his civil secretariat office chambers at Srinagar, Drabu said, “It is my word that we will get back the power projects from GoI.”
The finance minister was referring to the assertions of Union Power Minister, R K Singh who on Wednesday completely ruled out the return of any power projects to Jammu Kashmir.
The ruling Peoples Democratic Party-led State government has been demanding the return of 390-MW Dulhasti and 4890-MW Uri-I hydropower projects from the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) to Jammu Kashmir, a demand being rejected by New Delhi.
The return of these power projects to the State is also in the Agenda of Alliance (AoA), a Common Minimum Programme between the PDP and the rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but the despite being in the third year of the alliance, PDP has failed to get these projects back from New Delhi.
Opposition National Conference (NC) Working President and former chief minister, Omar Abdullah has also criticised the government on the issue of return of power projects saying the government was lying to the people about it as New Delhi had made it clearly that it did not wish to return any power project to Jammu Kashmir.
After taking over as the finance minister, Drabu had described a separate power budget for the State as a landmark initiative of the new government and proposed return of power projects to the State from the NHPC.
He had then said the government would actively pursue transfer of hydel power projects from NHPC and his budget provided funds for meeting the operation and maintenance cost of such power projects to be transferred from NHPC.