Himachal locks horn with Punjab over Shanan Project Seeks Centre to ensure state interest

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu seek the Union government’s active support over the step-motherly treatment of Himachal Pradesh by Punjab and Haryana as it locked horn to seek ownership of the 110 mega Watt Shanan project following the expiring of the lease next year

Raising the above matter along with a host of several issues to support the financial crises before the state government Mr. Sukhu stated that the center and bordering state should reconsider various arrangements in the power sector as agreements and deals signed about generation and ownership are not in the interest of Himachal Pradesh on the other hand center and other state are reaping the benefits of state natural resources like power water and power trading should reconsider and increased state equity.

Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu discussed various issues related to the energy sector in the interest of the state with Union Energy Minister, R.K. Singh during his recent visit to the Kinnaur district and sought his support. Many projects made under Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) and Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) have become debt-free including Nathpa-Jhakadi, Rampur, Bhakra Dam, Beas Satluj Link, and Pong Dam projects.

The Chief Minister brought to the notice of the Union Energy Minister that at present, the state is getting free electricity at the rate of only 12 percent in the Nathpa Jhakri project (1500 MW) and Rampur project (412 MW) operated by the SJVNL while the SJVNL is getting benefit from these debt-free projects. He said that the contract period limit has also not been fixed in these projects. It will be in the interest of the state that along with fixing the time period of 40 years in these projects like other projects, the rates of free electricity should also be increased.

He apprised Union Energy Minister about the issue of the commencement of the construction work of Luhri Phase-I (210 MW), Dhaulasiddh (66 MW), and Sunni Dam (382 MW) by SJVNL without signing the implementation contract. He said that the company has not signed the contract even after repeated requests by the State Government and SJVNL is also reluctant to follow the provisions mentioned in the energy policy.  

The Chief Minister also informed that the State Government is not getting a royalty of free electricity in the Bhakra Dam Project (1478 MW), Beas Satluj Link (990 MW), and Pong Dam Project (396 MW) operated by BBMB. The state government is being deprived of the revenue it deserves. However, a provision has been made to give free electricity from all the projects to the State Government in the form of a royalty in the energy policies of the Center and State Government. Only 7.19 percent power at the fixed rates is being provided as a share to the State Government in these BBMB projects, which is not sufficient. Himachal Pradesh has full ownership of the land and water resources used in these projects and many families were displaced for the establishment of the projects. Therefore, like other projects, it would be justified to give free power in the form of royalty in these projects.

R.K. Singh assured us to take appropriate action after seriously considering the issues raised by the Chief Minister.

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