A power project becomes reality in Kashmir after 25 years

April 26th, 2008 - 4:09 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Kishtwar (Jammu and Kashmir), April 26 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday dedicated the 390-MW Dul Hasti power project to the nation but regretted it had taken 25 years for this important project to come up in the power-starved state. “The foundation of this project was laid by late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1983 and now it is the silver jubilee year of the laying of the foundation laying ceremony,” Manmohan Singh said, addressing a public meeting after dedicating the project to the nation in this hill area about 215 km from Jammu.

“Such delays are unacceptable,” he said. “These delays cause cost escalation and also undermine the utility of the projects. This should not happen in future.”

“Jammu and Kashmir has the vast potential to generate power and its estimated power generating potential is 14,000 MWs, while it generates only 1,865 MWs,” Manmohan Singh said listing the cause of chronic power shortage in the state, which has kept it backward in the matter of industrialization.

“Our homes, industries need power and all of us should put our act together in tapping our power generating potential and complete our projects in time,” the prime minister said.

He said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have undergone traumatic times and they deserve to live with dignity and respect.

“The government had initiated the process of the round table conferences to hear all view points and constituted working groups,” he said.

“Now the state government will implement the recommendations of the working groups and the centre will offer full help to the Jammu and Kashmir government in achieving economic prosperity and stability.”

Later, the prime minister flew back to Jammu from where he was to return to Delhi.

This was the prime minister’s first visit to the state this year. He stayed in Srinagar for two days in May 2006, when he attended the second round table conference on Kashmir but had cut short his visit by a day because of the inconvenience caused to tourists and locals due to the tight security detail for his visit.

On Friday, Manmohan Singh said with restoration of democracy in Pakistan, the two countries have a unique opportunity to join hands for lasting peace and tranquility in the region.

Addressing the first convocation of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, he said: “Like water, human sentiments in favour of peace and friendship also flow freely and true democracy is one in which such sentiments are able to find free expression.”

The prime minister reiterated that in this era of globalisation and development in communications technologies, borders have lost their relevance as everywhere the people wish to be connected to their neighbours.

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