Geothermal projects in Puga Valley, India disputed?

Alexander Richter 9 Apr 2009

There seem to be some players in the region that see any activities in the region as the "plundering of national resources" by India.

Reported locally, there seem to be some players in the region that see any activities in the region as the “plundering of national resources” by India.  Sources close to players either working on or interested in development at Puga, say that there is no such conflict as the land “clearly belongs to India” and is not in “disputed territory”. So this seems to be an interpretation issue.

One has to say that Kashmir in the Northern corner of India neighboring Pakistan, Afghanistan and China/ Tibet is historically a disputed area with the neighboring countries claiming parts as belonging to their national territory. The tensions between Pakistan and India are well known but have seen some improvements in recent years.

The article refers to “The Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front-R, Farooq Siddiqi”, who “has warned the occupation authorities to desist from allocation of any land to (geothermal developers) in Puga valley for draining of our clean energy resources.

Farooq Siddiqi in a statement said that as Kashmir is an internationally recognised disputed territory and any dividend taken by encroaching on its perishable resources from its territory without the final settlement is tantamount to economic piracy.

The JKLF-R Chairman said, “We respect the riparian and perennial rights of our national neighbors we reserve the right to safeguard our potential static energy and mineral reserves against prowling.”

The draining of our national energy resources from our water potential and mineral resources from Kishtiwar and Pader in the last 60 years to provide the gains to Indian economy has caused Kashmiri people dearly and has undermined Kashmir’s economic base.

The JKLF-R chief appealed to High Court Bar Association to pre-empt the move legally so that the national resources were not plundered covertly by the occupation authorities.”

One has to say that currently electricity in the region is generated by diesel and is very expensive. Geothermal development could have a very positive economic effect on the region providing both affordable heat and electricity in this remote region. So any dispute should not be going against the positive development in this area that geothermal utilization could provide.

Source: Kashmir Media Service