Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) Vice President and former MLC G N Monga Tuesday criticized the government over inordinate delay in revival of over 100-year old Mohra hydroelectric project in Baramulla district which has been defunct since 1992.
In a statement issued here on Tuesday he said at a time when the government of the day has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) to attract Rs 35,000 crore investments, “why has been Kashmir’s first hydroelectric project, constructed way back in 1905, left to decay?”
“I took up the issue in the Legislative Council several times from 2013 onwards, and met the concerned minister and the officials, who assured that the work would be started soon on the projects. However, several years down the line no progress has been made which is unfortunate,” Monga said and added if the work on the project is started not only will it suffice the power needs in the area, but would also generate employment for the locals.
The heritage project, one of the oldest hydel power plant in South Asia, was constructed by European engineers in early part of last century on the left bank of the river Jhelum on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road at Boniyar in Uri.
“While the detailed project report to maintain the heritage of the project was completed a few years back, the process for inviting tenders for restoration of the project is yet to be done. If completed, the project not only would suffice the electricity needs of people residing in border areas of Baramulla and Kupwara, it would cater to the needs of the villagers for irrigation purposes as well,” the Congress leader said and demanded that the government must start work on the project if it is serious in tapping the hydro electricity potential in J&K.
He said given the historical importance of the power project, “I hope that the work on the restoration of the project is started as early as possible and the new project accommodates most of the old features particularly the water flume which can turn the site into a major tourist attraction too.”