NHPC refuses to share info on JK's communiqué for 'buying back' power projects


Srinagar, Oct 31: National Hydel Power Corporation refuses to share information about receiving any communiqué from the state for buying back the power projects.
Venkatesh Nayak, Programme Coordinator Access to Information Programme Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, had submitted an RTI to the Union Power Ministry.
He had sought information whether the Union Power Minister had received any communications from the JK government regarding “buying back” of hydro power projects situated in the state.
Venkatesh, the appellant, had also sought information “relating to the feasibility of the proposal of buy back of the projects including reports of any expert committee”.
However, the Union Power Ministry transferred the RTI application to the NHPC. After not receiving the required information, he approached the Central Information Commission (CIC).
The NHPC has stated that the issue raised in the RTI application was between the Union Power Ministry/NHPC and the JK government.
“The disclosure of the said information would affect commercial interests and therefore the information sought was withheld,” the NHPC has told the CIC.
The NHPC had said that it was a central public undertaking and was a listed company in the stock market.
“The NHPC submitted that the information sought in is the nature of commercially sensitive and directly related to the business of the company. The NHPC has stated that the disclosure of the information sought shall lead to unwarranted speculations and confusion among the stakeholders and shall affect the commercial confidence of the NHPC,” Information Commissioner Sudhir Bhargava has in a reply to Venkatesh.
The CIC has also endorsed NHPC, saying that the information can’t be provided and “would not serve any public interest”.
The J&K has been demanding the return of power projects from the NHPC. The Union Power Ministry in 2015 had said that more than 40 percent of the power generated by NHPC across India flows from J&K alone.
Earlier, the NHPC has revealed that it earned Rs 1,94,31 crore by selling 1,15,636 million units of power generated from seven power projects in Jammu and Kashmir between January 2001 to March 2016.
The NHPC is presently generating around 2100 MW from its power projects in the state which is over 40 per cent of the energy the power giant generates from its projects in other states. J&K gets a little share in power.
The rest is being supplied to north Indian states like Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, and UP.