BJP's Ladakh MP puts conditions before mega solar power project
Leh: Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, the BJP MP representing Ladakh Lok Sabha constituency, has welcomed the Rs 50,000-crore mega solar power project in the region, but made it clear that it can go ahead if jobs are reserved for the locals and can work on a land lease model.
Protecting the fragile ecology of Ladakh is of paramount importance, Namgyal said, adding the investor should also devote a part of the earnings as royalty for the locals.
Following the Centre's moves to abrogate Article 370 and create a separate Union Territory of Ladakh, there has been media report of a Rs 50,000-crore solar power project coming up in the region.
"Investments are essential to come from outside, I welcome those. But there are a few conditions - we can't give the land in your name, you will have to take it on lease and a portion of the jobs will have to be reserved for the local youth.
"And whatever you earn from here, a part of it will have to be given to the council fund as royalty for ground development," he said.
The developmental model should be keeping in mind the fragile ecology of the region. We are not going to allow you otherwise, he made it clear.
The need is to tread on a "middle path" between the development and the local interests, such that both the Ladakhis as well as rest of India benefit, he said.
"It's not that we are closing ourselves, nor do we want anybody to exploit Ladakh," he stressed.
Namgyal said Ladakh always possessed huge potential to develop solar energy and credited the Narendra Modi government for trying to tap the potential.
The young lawmaker said Ladakh should not be looked at as an infertile piece of land alone, pointing to the region being an important tourist destination, rich in rare medicinal plants and also a repository of glaciers.
The Rs 50,000-crore project is touted as the single biggest investment in the space. A recent media report said sites have been identified for the grid-connected project.