Court revives Chenab hydel project

J&K government had shelved the project in 2006

GN Bureau | February 3, 2010



A fresh water row may erupt between India and Pakistan over 1200MW Sawalkot hydro-power project on the Chenab river in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir. The project has been revived by the J&K high court, which quashed a state cabinet decision of 2006 to shelve it.

Pakistan is objecting to two other hydroelectric projects on the river at Baglihar and Salal. The Sawalkot project involves two units of 600 MW each to be set up on the run-of-the-river scheme.

A single-judge bench of J P Singh on Monday held as ultra virus the government's decision to shelve the project on the ground of alleged bungling in awarding contracts to a consortium comprising SPAS of Norway, HCC of India and Ozaltin of Turkey. In the 62-page order the court held the cabinet decision as ultra virus as the complainant was himself member of the cabinet.

The Sawalakot consortium was entrusted with designing, executing and completing the project at a cost of Euro 763 Million. A formal contract was signed in presence of  the then visiting Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on April 21, 2001, in Delhi.

The consortium was duly approved by three successive cabinets of state in April 2001, December 2005 and April 2006, as well as approved by the Power Development Corporation, the court order said.

It was pointed out that the presence of the complainant minister in the cabinet sub-committee had genuinely raised eye-brows regarding his biased approach in discharging the functions. “Under these circumstances a presumption arises that not only would the minister have influenced the mind of other members of the committee, but that he would have certainly done all he could possibly do to project his view point when there was none in the committee to speak for and on behalf of the petitioners,” the court order said.

The government counsel had pleaded that the project was shelved  for not getting funds from the Power Finance Corporation and the bidding for the project was not as per the Indian government's guidelines. The court said the Indian government's guidelines did not apply to the project.

The consortium got a stay from the high court when the previous J&K government led by Ghulam Nabi Azad in 2006 cancelled its contract and tried to float fresh global tenders for the project, downstream the 450 MW Baglihar hydel project and about 25 km upstream the 390 MW Salal hydroelectric power project.

 

Comments

 

Other News

‘Indian media powerful but suffers perception issues’

Lamenting that in the race to catch eyeballs with sensational news, tabloid journalism has got mixed up with serious journalism, senior journalist and Padma Shri awardee Alok Mehta has said that credibility perception of Indian media has gone down. Yet, despite criticism, Indian media is free and powerful.

India’s vaccination coverage crosses 30-crore landmark

In a milestone achievement, India’s cumulative vaccination coverage has exceeded 30 crores. A total of 30,16,26,028 vaccine doses have been administered through 40,45,516 sessions, as per the provisional report till 7 am Thursday. As many as 64,89,599 vaccine doses were administered in the 24

Gujarat’s smart move with smart app for unorganized workers

The Government of Gujarat has launched a web portal and a mobile application to facilitate online registration of workers from the unorganized sector by giving them smart cards for availing various welfare schemes. Chief minister Vijay Rupani has given a befitting reply to his critics that

How a portal saved 2,000 lives by connecting patients with dialysis centres

As the city of Mumbai went into the lockdown in March 2020, those who were on permanent dialysis and caught Covid infection or suspected to have been infected were badly in need of dialysis treatment. At the same time a large number of patients who were already in dialysis centres started contracti

Tamil Nadu constitutes `Economic Advisory Council` with nobel laureates

The Tamil Nadu government has announced the `Economic Advisory Council` to the Chief Minister comprising Nobel laureates, Raghuram Rajan, former governor of Reserve Bank of India and various other economic experts from around the globe to advise the state on how to reverse the economic slowdown. The state

Kashmir valley railway stations get rail Wi-Fi network

 All 15 Kashmir Valley Railway Stations, including Srinagar, have now got integrated with 6021 Station Wi-Fi Network of Indian Railways. Public Wi-Fi, provided under the brand name of RailWire, is available at 15 stations such as Baramula, Hamre, Pattan, Maz

Visionary Talk with Madhur Bhandarkar, National Award Film Maker



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter