Srinagar: A minister in Jammu and Kashmir’s Omar Abdullah government said the hydropower project inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the state’s Baramulla district Friday was illegal.
Health and Medical Education Minister Taj Mohiuddin said: “The hydropower project inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has no licence to operate and is, therefore, illegal.”
The sitting Congress legislator from the Uri constituency where the hydropower project is situated, Mohiuddin said he is sure that Modi did not know that the project he was going to inaugurate did not have a licence to operate.
“Had he known that, he would not have inaugurated the project. In fact, no prime minister would ever do that,” he said.
He said when he was the minister for public health engineering and irrigation before his portfolio was changed to health and medical education, he had written to the prime minister’s office that the NHPC had not completed the formalities for issuance of an operating licence to them and the then prime minister Manmohan Singh should not accept the NHPC request to inaugurate the project.
He was sure that the NPHC had not completed the formalities and obtained an operating licence from the state government after his portfolio was changed, he said: “I am sure the NHPC has not obtained the licence because the same would have to be cleared by the state cabinet and I would have known it as a member of the council of ministers.”
Mohiuddin said he was not present at the inaugural function and had he been there, he would have informed the prime minister.
“The NHPC did not want me to be there. I received an invitation to the function late yesterday (Thursday) night and since I had other engagements, I could not go to attend the function,” he asserted.
Under the state’s water resources act, it is mandatory for all hydro power projects to obtain a licence from the state government.