The power politics

While the memories of notorious East India Company have since long faded away from the minds, though not from the pages of history, the Indian government controlled National Hydro-electric Power Corporation, thanks to its exploitative tactics, has to a large extent proved that it can be its successor. Of course, with the difference that it has no role to play in political and defense management.

       The giant corporation is continuing to play fox to the gullible Kashmir crane. “serving the soup” in a “flat dish” and the credulous Kashmir people left to starve. And Delhi to feed and fatten up on our shares, at our cost.
       Nothing terribly tyrannical and unjust can define the relationship between the corporation and the state. The land is ours. Resources ours. Water ours. Still we have to zip our lips at 12 percent royalty.

       True the  NHPC has arrogated to itself the “right” to transcend all protective legal and administrative dykes  that the state of Jammu and Kashmir has, on different occasions, erected to halt its advances. But looking in the context of political manipulation and policies of deceit and countless betrayals new Delhi religiously adhered to in Kashmir, the exploitation of our natural resources by the corporation mirror the same  venality. A little snout-space of the proverbial camel  was enough for the NHPC  to execute its monopoly, sponging off the state whole time.

 But, as always it is collaboration from the opportunistic self-centred persons from your ranks within, that such sordid things get materialized {Ghar kaa Beidee  Lanka Dhayai}. Unless stooges in the higher positions are ready to help no community or a nation can be robbed off its precious resources or its individuality.

       Here if the NHPC went in synch with  East India’s feudalistic mentality, and did succeeded in fastening its greedy tentacles in the flesh of people, the puppet regimes cannot escape from the blame. They too are equally responsible. That is the ugliest part of the situation. We are sucked in at the moment.

       It stands all revealed. Those who seek vote on ‘local’ issue and claim to  provide a good governance, prove to be the ones who willingly act as political tools in denuding the state of its resources and distinguished character-political, cultural and economic .

       This becomes absolutely clear in shocking revelations GK has made in last week of May.  You have well-crafted,  brilliantly authored cabinet decision that envisages power-sharing mechanism between New Delhi and Srinagar dating.
According to the revelation the state government has passed the cabinet order no 128 dated 21 June 1975. The order envisages  execution, power-sharing and transfer of 690 MW Salal Power Project . the order is beneficiary on four accounts. One, it entitled Jammu and Kashmir state to 505 share of the power at generation cost from the project.

Two, it further provided that  JK would be free to sell any surplus power out of its fifty percent share to any state. Three, the profit earned from the sale of remaining 50% of power will be shared between state government and government of India. Four, the ownership of the project will be reverted back to the state government after a suitable period on payment of depreciated cost in accordance with Jammu and Kashmir Electric Supplies Act 197.

       The cabinet order was communicated to Union Power Ministry  ahead of construction of Salal Power Project. But most atrocious part of the unfolding story is that none of the terms were ever implemented. The regimes virtually slept over the issue. Not to talk of striving  for any implementation, the government of the day and the succeeding regimes saw to it that the cabinet decision should not come into public light. It seems after the government at Delhi learnt of the terms, it tightened the screws of the then state government and forced it to let the order of the Cabinet die silently. As the cabinet order was not rescinded,  {and only the cabinet has the power to do so}  it follows, the state government in its abject surrender to Delhi, embarked on an illegal course besides making a compromise on the interests of the people of the state. And till date it continued to do the same.

       The     Indian government did Salal to other projects it executed subsequently. It is to be remembered that NHPC is going to execute another seven projects in the sate in the next few years. As the present power-sharing mechanism stands the state have to bear with “12 % royalty” shame .

As far as allocation of 12% of power as royalty from these projects is concerned, one can ask when stipulation of “12% royalty” does not figure in any cabinet order, wherefrom it has come? Who did it and at whose behest? And how?

       For the last 36 years we have been suffering from the injustice of the corporation that makes us shriveled even in our green salad days. Imagine the huge losses the state was made to suffer by not implementing the cabinet decision. And imagine the benefits had the terms of the order been implemented.  With conviction one can say the state of Jammu and Kashmir would have, in that case, become at par with Dubai or Singapore, in terms of economic development.

       There is no time to indulge in blame game or make politics on this issue that concerns us all. Fortunately, a growing consciousness is developing among the masses and political class across the political and ideological divide about the need for protecting our economic resources and making a better use of them. This growing realization is also being felt in the present government. The government very recently passed a bill envisaging imposition of tax on water used for power generation in the state. It has also resolutely begun to demand compensation from Punjab government on the use of land of JK for building Ranjit Sagar Dam Thion Dam. ‘Under an agreement with Punjab government, JK was entitled to the share of 110 cusecs of water and 20% electricity generation from the dam in lieu of the sixty percent land JK government contributed  for the project. After over ten years of commissioning of the mega-power project over the Dam the state is yet to get its due. Pertinently government has claimed compensation of 8000 crores on account of its share of water and power from Punjab’.

       Needless to say that Punjab government is following on the foot-steps of the NHPC. And the behavior of both testifies that they treat Kashmir nothing more than a colony, worth to be milked dry to the last ounce. Add to it the silence of the otherwise vocal political parties and intellectual class. Do they derive a sadistic pleasure in seeing Kashmir being exploited. Any way after the decades long huge exploitation by NHPC, the Kashmir crane has awakened. It is looking impatient to entertain its  fox “friend” and serve the soup to him in a jar with narrow neck! After all that is how “symbiotic” “romance” lasts.