Shimla: With the Supreme Court having directed that Himachal be released 7.19% share in the BBMB project from 1st November, 2011, the extra availability of power would offset some of the shortages that the hill state suffers from during winter months.
With the Supreme court order having settled Himachalâ€™s entitlement in Bhakra project at 6.095%, in Dehar project at 5.752% percent and in Pong Dam project at 2.984 percent, the stateâ€™s share would go up substantially from the 2.5 percent it was getting from Bhakra project and the 15 MW power it was able to get after 1978 from Dehar project.
The additional power would enable the state to meet much of its winter shortages from this year itself, said Deepak Sanan, principal secretary power.
Power ministry officials were busy through the day computing the arrears that the state expected as a windfall as an outcome of the judgment. The judgment would add about 500 million units of additional power to the states kitty, said a senior officer.
â€œWith the state entitled to dues from 1966 onwards in Bhakra project for the shortfall in power supplied that was due as states share and from commissioning date in the other two projects, with a 6 percent interest rate applied, the amount would be substantial,â€ he said.
With the division bench of Justice RV Raveendran and Justice AK Patnaik rejecting the states plea for 12 % royalty from the home state where these projects are located, there was disappointment in some quarters.
The judges had also rejected the Himachal government contention about an unsigned agreement with Punjab province and the erstwhile princely state of Bilaspur for construction of Bhakra dam under certain conditionalities which included payment of royalties for generation of power.
The court observed that draft agreement of 7.7.1948 about allocation of power to Bilaspur state was not executed on behalf of the parties and could not be basis of allocation of power to Himahcal Pradesh as a successor state as the only agreement that could be considered was the Bilaspur Merger Agreement with Union of India done on 15.8.1948.
Documents place before the courts also recorded that for construction of the Bhakra dam a total of 1,03,425 acres of land was submerged, for constructing the Beas â€“ Satluj link project 33,240 acres and for Pong Dam project a total of 65,050 acres of land was submerged.
With the Bhakra reservoir located mostly in Bilaspur state the on merger has become a district in Himachal Pradesh, a total of 27,869 acres of land out of a total of 41,600 acres was submerged by the largest project of its kind then in the country.