Monday 18 June 2018

Hydro-power projects approved for Uttarakhand, BENEFIT U'khand MORE!

Written by Anil Singh

Analyzing two claims made by Uttarakhand CM this week. One, a separate ministry for Himalayan states. Two, the closure of hydro-power projects approved for Uttarakhand is not in the state’s interests.

The latest from Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat led Uttarakhand Government are:

  • The CM repeating his Govt's demand that the central government constitute a separate ministry for the Himalayan states.
  • In the Niti Ayog meeting chaired by Prime Minister, the CM has told the PM Narendra Modi that the closure of hydro-power projects approved for Uttarakhand is not in the state’s interests (Closure is not in Uttarakhand's interests).

Beyond, the Uttarakhand CM has said Yoga is good for health and one must practice yoga daily.

The demand for a separate ministry for the Himalayan States is good. But it is a very broad demand. In a sense that it is not easy to tell how long we will have to wait and what it will finally bring in for Uttarakhand. Apart from that, it doesn't answer the question: Is Uttarakhand getting its normal share of funds(money) Today?

As far as we know, Uttarakhand is not running RTE admissions in private schools because the state Government does not have sufficient funds.

Now lets talk about the Uttarakhand CM's suggestion at Niti Ayog.

When CM says the closure of hydro-power projects approved for Uttarakhand is not in Uttarakhand’s interests, it seems he is trying to paint a picture where the Central Government is opposing such projects.

The reality is that: The Central Government cannot be in opposition to hydro-power projects in Uttarakhand because most of the electricity produced in Uttarakhand based hydro-power projects goes to the National Power Grid. Uttarakhand gets only a small share of the power produced. But for that Uttarakhand pays a heavy price in form of relocation (in Hindi, "Visthapan"), landslides, earthquakes, resource loss. So how can the Uttarakhand CM claim such projects are more in favor of Uttarakhand people?

All other promises in terms of livelihood, jobs, increase in agriculture income in state etc. made this week by the CM, have 2020, 2022 deadlines. For instance, the Uttarakhand govt says it will increase small scale agricultural income in state from present Rs. 65,000 to Rs. 1.5 Lakh per year by 2022. The question is: What will be the value of 1.5 Lakh in 2022?  So lets not go into that.

To conclude, it is not about good or bad, it about painting a dichotomous narrative. Any Govt. must avoid that.


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