Himachal CM seeks release of electricity arrears from Punjab, Haryana

New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh called on Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday and sought his intervention for release of electricity arrears from Punjab and Haryana.

The Chief Minister apprised the Union Minister about the Supreme Court’s 2011 directive to Punjab and Haryana, who hold shares in the projects, to clear the electricity arrears relating to Bhakra Beas Management Board’s (BBMB) three hydropower projects in the hill state.

Official sources said while the hill state is claiming a whopping Rs.4,250 crore arrears from Punjab and Haryana for these projects, a counter claim of Rs.1,611.88 crore has come from the two states for its share in the construction cost of these projects.

The Supreme Court had raised Himachal’s share to 7.19 percent of the power generated by the projects – Bhakra, Beas (Dehar) and Beas (Pong) – against the 2.5 per cent it was earlier getting.

Since Himachal’s share had gone up, it should bear the liability towards the capital costs of the projects to that extent, Punjab’s affidavit said.

The Chief Minister also urged Goyal for constructive support of his ministry in implementing small hydropower projects so that these could be completed within a stipulated time frame.

Goyal directed the authorities to take effective steps for an amicable solution and release of share of the hill state from the BBMB projects, an official statement of the state government said.

–IANS

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