Shimla: Even though Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) and the government of Himachal Pradesh are still to settle decades old arrear payments for due share in the mega Bhakra Dam project, the state government on Friday evening (26.8.2022) signed an agreement for execution of a small Baggi hydroelectric project (42MW) in Mandi district with BBMB.
Director Energy Harikesh Meena in the presence of Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur signed the agreement on behalf of the state government and Secretary of BBMB Satish Kumar Singla signed on behalf of the board which has the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi and the union territory of Chandigarh as it member states.
Speaking on the occassion Jai Ram Thakur, who hails from Mandi district said that the estimated cost of the Baggi project was Rs 284.87 crore. In a normal year, it is expected to generate 135.6 million Units of electricity. Construction of the project is expected to be completed in 30 months after commencement of work.
Baggi Hydroelectric Project was allotted to BBMB on 10th July, 2019 and the MoU was signed on 8th November, 2019.
In the agreement signed on Friday, the government would be entitled to 12% free electricity when the plant starts generating power. Project affected families would be entitled to 100 units of free electricity, per month for a duration of 10 years and revenue from sale of 1% electricity would be provided to the eligible families of the project affected area till the life span of the project. BBMB under agreement has also been bound to provide direct employment to natives of Himachal Pradesh.
Chairman BBMB Sanjay Srivastava was also present on the occasion.
The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) was constituted under the Punjab Re-organisation Act, 1966 for the administration, maintenance and operation of works of Bhakra Nangal and Beas Projects. The functions of the Board is to regulate the supply of Sutlej, Ravi, Beas river waters to the States of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi & Chandigarh and to distribute power from BBMB projects to Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh & Chandigarh.
However, Himachal Pradesh for decades has been unable to get it due share for sales of electricity from the BBMB projects. The Himachal Pradesh government took the dispute to the Supreme Court, which ruled in favour of the hill state by asking BBMB to allocate 7.19 % share to Himachal Pradesh in the project and cough up the due arrears of about Rs 4000 crores as in the year 2013 to Himachal. Till date the arrear dues have not been paid.
As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post.
Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.