Shimla: Decks have been cleared for the payment of arrears amounting to Rs 4,250 crore to Himachal Pradesh with Supreme Court asking the Centre to expedite the grant of compensation to the state under its share in the Bhakra Beas project.
According to the Chief Secretary, the apex court has directed the Union power ministry to provide the share to HP on account of state`s 7.19 per cent share in hydropower projects under Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) as per Punjab State Reorganisation Act 1966.
BBMB is engaged in regulation of the supply of water and power from Bhakra Nangal and Beas Projects to the states.
The HP had pleaded in the court that it should get 7.19 per cent share in the projects on the basis of transferred population under re-organisation of Punjab in 1966.
Later, in 2011, the apex court allowed the state 7.19 per cent share in the power of all hydro projects executed by BBMB from the date of commissioning of the projects to Himachal Pradesh.
In the same year, Himachal Congress chief Virbhadra Singh had also written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding an early grant of the share to the state.
A High Powered Committee, headed by Joint Secretary (Hydro Power), had conveyed to the HP government that Rs 4,250 crore due as compensation to the state has been reduced to Rs 3,400 crore.
However, Himachal Pradesh did not agree with the cut and the apex court decided in favour of the state.
"Now, with the apex court again asking the Union government to expedite the payment of arrears, decks have been cleared," Chief Secretary S Roy said on Januray 26.
The Himachal Pradesh government had also maintained that the unilateral cut by the Centre without taking the state into confidence runs counter to the judgement of the Supreme Court and is not acceptable.
The state demanded that the apex court`s judgement should be implemented without any riders.