It is not only the file containing Cabinet decision No. 328 dated 21-06-1975 which is missing but some other important files & folders containing vital correspondences, decisions & agreements which are also missing from records. A brief mention of these files is as follows:
1) File bearing No. PD/IV/243/72 which contains all the correspondences with regard to NHPC projects.

2) The file containing revised draft agreement furnished by State to Govt. of India for execution of Salal HEP by NHPC as mentioned in note submitted by Power Development Department to State Cabinet on 13-12-84.

3) Agreement between State Govt. and Govt. of India/NHPC on the subject matter of “exemption of Stamp duty” chargeable on Transfer deed of Land between Govt. Of India & NHPC in respect of Salal Project, as mentioned at para 11 of folder bearing No. PDD/IV/118/79. In absence of this vital record, we are unable to identify the exact status of NHPC in our state i.e whether it is an owner or Lessee of the Land. 

4) The file containing correspondence between the State & Central Govt. regarding transfer of Salal HEP to the State as mentioned at para 39 of folder bearing No. PDD/IV/118/79. It is presumed that this file and that mentioned at (2) above contain important references/cross references to other documents ,decisions & memos, which nails the whole lie of NHPC. All the records mentioned at (2) to (4) above are reported to have been existing till the year 2000.

How did these missing records matter?

Due to absence of relevant records, the first casualty became Dul-Hasti Power Project. This project which was originally handed over to NHPC in 1979 was delayed beyond schedule and finally commissioned in 2007 after a gap of nearly twenty Eight long years, because NHPC was not willing to work on terms & conditions as originally agreed by State Govt. for vide Cabinet decision No. 328 dated 21-06-75.Briefly these conditions stated that 50% of the power generated from the projects will be available to State & any profit earned on sale of balance 50% will be shared between State Govt. & Govt. of India(For details –see my article at (http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2014/Jan/6/the-power-problem-61.asp). In fact all dirty tricks & dilly-dallying tactics were employed by NHPC till the mysterious disappearance of the file containing the above cabinet decision and other connected records in which a reference to such decision is made. In this connection, a glimpse of these delaying tactics is discernible from the following extract of letter No. PDD-IV/243/72 dated 16-10-1981 written by then CM Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah to the then Union Minster of Energy, ABA Gani Khan Chowdhary.

“Recently, Sh. Mahajan( Referring to Sh. Vikram Mahajan, then Union Minster of State for Energy), made a public statement that the work on Dul-Hasti Project has been delayed because the State Govt. has not conveyed its acceptance of the formula for sharing the benefits of additional generation. This as you know is not the fact. It will be recalled that the proposed formula has been discussed by us with the officers of the Central Govt. including the Chairman of NHPC on a number of occasions , both here as well as at Delhi.—————-. Further, all the terms & conditions for the execution of Salal Hydel Project have long back been finalized but the Minstry of Energy is yet to enter into formal agreement with the State inspite of their verbal and written assurances ” 

From the whole scenario and attendant correspondence, following questions arise:

a) Why did Vikram Mahajan raise afresh the issue of “sharing the benefits of additional generation of power” for Dul Hasti Project in 1981 through a public statement when these were already settled by Cabinet vide decision No. 328 in 1975 for Salal Project and was to apply for all future projects? Does it point to the fact that the file containing the said decision had been removed by unknown hands by that time?

b) Why was not the formal agreement in respect of Salal Project entered into between Ministry of Energy (which formally handed it over to NHPC) & State Govt. despite lapse of a long time? Was NHPC waiting for removal of the file containing the cabinet decision No. 328 of 1975.

The questions are many but answers none!

Author is a practicing chartered Accountant. Feed back at abdulmajidzargar@gmail.com


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