Himachal wants to re-allot hydro-power project to Brakel

The Himachal Pradesh government wants to re-allot a multi-million dollar hydropower project that is under litigation to the Netherlands-based Brakel Corp.

Last Updated: Jul 25, 2010, 16:24 PM IST

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh government wants to re-allot a multi-million dollar hydropower project that is under litigation to the Netherlands-based Brakel Corp.

The government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court last week, saying the it did not want to cancel the project allotted to Brakel "as it`s in the state`s interest", authorities here said on Sunday.

Brakel had earlier challenged in the apex court a High Court order cancelling allotment of the 960-MW Thopan-Powari-Jangi hydropower project in Kinnaur district to the company.

The High Court on October 07, 2009 had ordered cancellation of the allotment on a petition filed by Reliance Infrastructure, one of the bidders.

"We allow the writ petition and quash the decision of the council of ministers (to allot the project to Brakel) dated November 25, 2008, as being arbitrary, illegal and irrational," the high court had said.

Subsequently, the government decided to invite fresh bids for the project. It even imposed a penalty of Rs 280.69 crore (USD 60 million) on Brakel for delaying the implementation of the project.

After hearing an appeal filed by Brakel, the Supreme Court on March 15 issued notice to the state government for cancelling the project and inviting fresh bids.

In the affidavit, signed by Joint Secretary (Power) SP Paul, the government said "allotting hydropower project to Brakel is in the interest of the state".

The matter has been listed for hearing in the division bench of Justices Aftab Alam and BS Chauhan on July 27.

The state government had signed an agreement with Brakel in 2008, two years after the project was awarded to the Dutch company, for starting the pre-construction activities for the project.

The project requires an investment of more than Rs 6,000 crore.

IANS