Clamour for handing over Shanan project to HP grows

The project will be handed over to Himachal government in 2024 after the expiry of the 99-year-lease agreement
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Published on Oct 17, 2019 11:50 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Shimla | ByNavneet Rathore, Shimla

The demand for handing over British era 110 Mega Watt (MW) Shanan Project, located in Himachal’s Mandi district, to the hill state from Punjab is getting shriller.

Though located in Joginder Nagar in Himachal, Shanan Power House is under the control of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), which had staked claim over the project saying it had built the 100 MW Bassi hydro power for Himachal Pradesh in lieu of Shanan.

The project will be handed over to Himachal government in 2024 after the expiry of the 99-year-lease agreement.

The Himachal Bachao Snagharsh Morcha, a social organisation, has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to settle the long-standing dispute with Punjab over the ownership of Shanan Project.

A delegation on Wednesday met with MP Ram Swaroop Sharma over the issue and put forth their demand.

“If we do not get a favourable response from the PM then we will take the matter to the Supreme Court,” organisation’s president Laxminder Singh Guleria said.

Guleria alleged that the Punjab government has violated the agreement by producing more electricity than agreed since 1922. “Punjab is producing 110 MW while the agreement was signed for 48 MW which makes the entire deal null and void,” he said.

He said the project should be handed over to Himachal government which is in debt of over 50,000 crore. Guleria warned of an intense agitation if their demand is not met.

The powerhouse, commissioned in 1932, was built under a lease deal of 99 years executed between Joginder Sen, then ruler of Mandi, and British engineer Col BC Batty, a representative, in1925. During the reorganization of states in November, 1966, Shanan Power House went to the share of Punjab as the 99-year lease deed between the Raja of Mandi and British Government had not expired at that time.

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