With Jammu and Kashmir suffering a loss of Rs 10,000 crore due to delay in implementation of 1200 MW Sawlakote Hydro Electric Power Project, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said that the State will go in for joint venture in power projects.

He informed the State Assembly that efforts are on to revive the Sawlakote project.

Mr. Abdullah said the government had approached the PSU for assessing exact loss incurred by the State due to Indus Water Treaty. The State has appointed a private firm to assess the losses before taking up the issue of compensation with the Centre, he said.

Mr. Abdullah said that efforts are on to reform the power sector including generation, upgradation of lines and transmission system.

“We are introducing two important bills in the House in this regard,” Mr. Abdullah, who also holds the power portfolio, said on Thursday.

Various hydro-electric projects have been envisaged in the next five years to raise the generation from the present 2500 MWs to 6000 MWs.

The Chief Minister said that the District Development Boards are being strengthened and other representative bodies like Panchayats will be made equally effective to undertake development at grassroots level. Elections for local bodies will be held this year only.

The government is contemplating investing over Rs. 10,000 crore on development projects during the next financial year and a proper monitoring mechanism has been put in place, involving third party monitoring to ensure judicious spending, he said.

Mr. Abdullah said the State government was trying to segregate jurisdiction of Accountability Commission (AC) and the Vigilance Organization (VO) to end corruption.

“While AC will look into the complaints against political leaders, the VO will deal with the cases of government functionaries. We are also contemplating converting the VO into a Commission giving it more teeth,” he said.

More than 20,000 people will be provided employment under Sher-e-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Programme for Youth (SKEWPY), he said.

The Chief Minister said doors of the government are always open for talks with state employees and any matter could be amicably discussed and addressed across the table.

“The employees and the government are members of the same house and the confrontation between the two will damage interests of both the parties,” he said urging them to shun the practice of lockout and strike in the larger interests of the state.

The ration money for police personnel is being enhanced from Rs. 600 to Rs. 1,000 per month for which a proposal has already been formulated, he said.


Abdullah: 35,000 troops withdrawn from J&K March 19, 2010