State-run NHPC is hopeful of keeping two of its projects in Jammu and Kashmir with itself even as the state government is in talks with the Centre to take over the power plants at Dulhasti and Uri.
J&K finance minister Haseeb Drabu last month said the state wanted to take over the two power projects of NHPC, citing such an agreement in the ruling PDP-BJP alliance’s agenda and that he had held extensive discussions with the Centre on the modalities of the takeover.
“The discussions are on at the Central level but we are hopeful that the projects will not go to the state,” an official from the state-run NHPC said here.
The PDP-BJP government’s ‘agenda of alliance’ talks about exploring modalities for transfer of NHPC-owned 390-mw Dulhasti and 480-mw Uri hydro power projects to the state, securing a share in the profits of NHPC emanating from J&K waters to the state and revising all agreements with the company.
The official said taking over the projects will not be a wise decision as the state government may end up losing on the benefits it enjoys currently wherein these projects are managed by NHPC.
“The state gets 12 per cent free power from these projects. Additionally, they collect water cess from us which is a large amount. The state will lose out on these incomes. Moreover, they do not have the technical know-how to run these plants. So, in a way, it will not be a wise move for the state to take over these projects,” the official said.
The official further asked for explanation on why is the state keen on taking the Dulhasti project and not considering taking over the 680-mw Salal hydro project instead.
“Currently the power from the Dulhasti project is sold at around Rs 6 per unit while the power from Salal project is sold at Rs 1.2 per unit. Why is the state keen on taking over the Dulhasti project and not Salal?” the official asked.