Regional

Eyebrows raised over free power to HP by BBMB

VINOD GUPTA | March 24, 2020 09:10 PM

CHANDIGARH: Eyebrows are  being raised over the grant of 13%  free power to Himachal Pradesh  from proposed 40 MW  Baggi Power Plant by the Bhakra  Beas Management Board (BBMB).

BBMB in its board meeting held on March 5 held at New Delhi has agreed to the provision of 13% free power to Himachal Pradesh. Only 5 out of 9 board members were present in the meeting.

 Dr. Gulab Singh Narwal  Member (Irrigation) BBMB  circulated  its dissenting note to all the board members before the meeting objecting to free power proposal to be given to Himachal.

As per note the BBMB projects and sharing of power is decided in the framework of Punjab  Reorganisation Act 1966 and there  is no provision of free power to the home state. Moreover, there is  no free power provision from the existing Dehar Power plant and as such the move is against the interest of partner states.

Earlier Devender Singh Add. Chief Secretary Haryana has written a DO letter to BBMB Chairman  opposing the proposal of free power to be given upfront to  HP as per National Hydropower policy l998/2008.The letter mentions that BBMB is a statutory body formed by the Act of parliament, and it is not a' commercial organization.Baggi power House is not a new scheme but envisaged during the construction of BSL Project. So why BBMB has proposed a new power-sharing formula for Baggi power House?

The cost of the project  will be shared by partner states as  per their share in the power generation. Padamjit Singh Chief Patron All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) said that the 13% proposal will have serious legal repercussions and lead to opening of Pandora box with HP raising a similar claim for Dehar, Bhakra and Pong. As per previous practice when Chairman BBMB should be from
 outside the partner states.

Punjab has been opposing free power to any partner state. The proposal of construction of Baggi Power plant has been hanging fire for the last 40 years and major partner states are opposing the free power proposal.

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