Supreme Court reserves order in Himachal case for share in BBMB projects

Delhi: Arguments having concluded over sharing of hydropower assets under management of Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), the Supreme Court on Tuesday (3.5.2011) has reserved its judgment in the suit filed by Himachal Pradesh.

The bench consisting of Justice RK Raveendran and Justice AK Patnaik passed the order reserving the judgment after having heard the concluding arguments from the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, the union government and the petitioner Himachal government.

Senior counsel AK Ganguly and JS Attri advanced Himachal’s concluding arguments replying to the points raised by the defendant states and the Centre.

Rejecting the contentions of Punjab and others that Himachal was not entitled to 12 per cent free power as this provision was meant only for Central projects, the counsels for Himachal argued that this entitlement should be extended to BBMB projects also.

Though Punjab and Haryana had taken the initiative to put up these projects, the funds had mainly come from the Centre, they maintained.

Rajasthan had sought that the dispute should be referred to a water tribunal under Article 262 of the Constitution.

Himachal, however, argued that the dispute related to sharing energy generated from water. Further, no issue was framed by the SC on this score.

The Himachal Pradesh government had in 1996 moved the Supreme Court about having been denied its rightful share in allocation of power from the BBMB project and had pleaded that the state be allocated 7.19 % share in these projects on the basis of transferred population under reorganization of Punjab state in 1966.

The state had also asked for 12% free power in accordance with the policy as the Bhakra and Beas hydropower station were located within the state.

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