Tribune News Service
Jammu, May 31
The National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) has granted much higher compensation than the market rate to those families whose land was acquired for constructing run of the Kishanganga project in Gurez area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district as part of its “commitment to serve the state and its people”, according to sources.
Official sources told The Tribune that the NHPC had given between Rs 60 lakh and Rs 70 lakh to each family for the land acquired for the project to help them seek alternative places of rehabilitation.
“This amount is on much higher side than recommended by the state government,” government sources said.
The NHPC is the major power-generating company in the state and it has rededicated itself to the service of the people of the state.
The Kishanganga project had hogged headlines for objections by Pakistan, which has become a routine with Islamabad to stall any power generating or forward-looking projects in Jammu and Kashmir, citing the 1960 World Bank-brokered Indus Water Treaty. But those objections have been ruled out.
The 330-MW Kishanganga project was started in 2007 and the deadline for completion the $864 million plant was 2016. This plant will give 12 per cent share of its total power generation to the state.
Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, in his power Budget speech on Monday, mentioned that the project would be completed in the current financial year. “Kishanganga shall also be commissioned during 2016-17 giving the state its 12 per cent share from the total generation,” Drabu said during his speech.
Construction on the dam was halted though by the Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration in October 2011 due to Pakistan’s protest of its effect on the flow of the Kishanganga (called the Neelum in Pakistan). In February 2013, the Hague ruled that India could divert a minimum amount of water for power generation.
Staff at grocery stores to be checked too