Himachal CM wants custody of country’s first hydroelectric project

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu on Monday called on Union Power Minister R.K. Singh here and informed him about the 99 years lease period of the Shanan hydropower project that is expiring in March 2024.

The country’s first hydroelectric project is presently under the control of the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) in Himachal Pradesh.

The Chief Minister requested the Union Minister to issue directions to the Punjab government for taking mandatory steps for handing over the project to the state before the expiry of the lease period.

He also apprised the Union Minister about the facts regarding the share of the state in the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) and demanded 12 per cent water royalty for the state.

Sukhu said due to the construction of projects by the BBMB, many townships were compelled to face rehabilitation and numbers of oustees were not yet compensated even after 50 years.

He urged that the state government may be allowed to impose free power royalty in all commissioned projects of the BBMB. This was the long-pending demand of the state.

He also raised the issue of raising the royalty of state in SJVN. He said that free power royalty share being received from the SJVN projects which have completed debt period of 12 years may be enhanced from existing free power royalty share ranging from 12 to 30 per cent.

The Union Minister assured of all possible support to the state.

The more than 90-year-old Shanan hydropower project is still generating power and earning revenue for his state.

The project located at Jogindernagar was constructed in 1932 by British engineer Colonel B.C. Batty and his team, and started generating 48 MW power at that time.

Currently, the power house is running with a capacity of generating 110 MW.

The project came in to being based on an agreement made on March 3, 1925.

During the reorganisation of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh in 1966, the Shanan Power House was allocated to Punjab by the Union Ministry of Irrigation and Power on a 99-year lease agreement.

Disclaimer: This Article is auto-generated from the IANS  service

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