SHIMLA: Despite the Supreme Court directing the Centre in 2011 to intervene to ensure that other states pay the due amount to Himachal Pradesh as its share in Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) projects, the hill state is struggling to get its legitimate right. Supreme Court of India vide judgment has recognized the share of the state as 7.19%. On Saturday, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that he did not know about the issue.
While interacting with mediapersons at Shimla, Khattar said he had no knowledge of Himachal’s share in BBMB projects from partner states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. He said since he became chief minister two years back, the issue has not come to his knowledge.
The state had approached the apex court in 1998 to get its share in power projects under BBMB on the basis of Punjab State Reorganisation Act, 1966. On September 27, 2011, the Supreme Court had granted relief to the state by allowing the share. After the decision, the state had calculated Rs 4,200 crore arrears as per 7.19 % share which were to be paid by Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. Since long, respective governments in Himachal Pradesh whether headed by BJP or Congress are requesting the Centre to settle the issue by asking these states to clear their dues.
At present, there are two whole time members in the management of BBMB, Punjab and Haryana, while BBMB projects fall under territorial jurisdiction of Himachal Pradesh. The state suffered high distress due to submergence of 1,03,425 acre of fertile land in case of Bhakhra project and 65,563 acre in case of Beas projects (Deharan Pong).
In accordance with the Government of India’s directions vide communication dated August 16, 1983, Himachal was given the status of partner state in BBMB projects in 124th board meeting held on January 19 and 20, 1987, but the decision is still to be implemented, said the state government in a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Mandi on October 18.
On November 3, state ministers Thakur Singh Bharmouri and Prakash Chaudhary had said that BJP leaders should help the state government in getting its righteous share from the Centre including payment of energy arrear claims worth Rs 3,997 crore from Punjab and Haryana.