Virbhadra writes to PM on BBMB compensation

Himachal Congress president Virbhadra Singh has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to expedite the grant of compensation amount to Himachal Pradesh for its 7.19 per cent share in the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) as a reduced amount was unacceptable to the state.

In a letter to the Prime Minister on Wednesday, he said the grant of this compensation amount has already been directed by the Supreme Court in its verdict on the issue.

"It is understood that a high-powered committee headed by joint secretary (Hydro Power) has conveyed to the Himachal government that Rs 4,250 crore due as compensation to Himachal has been reduced to Rs 3,400 crore... The state has declined to accept the reduced amount," Virbhadra wrote.

"This unilateral cut by the Centre without taking Himachal into confidence runs counter to the judgment of the Supreme Court and is not acceptable to the state. The Supreme Court judgment needs to be implemented without any riders. The waters of Pong Dam are used for irrigation by Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan," he said.

"As many as 1,50,000 Himachalis were uprooted and the state had to pay a heavy price in terms of human suffering while the fruits of prosperity are being enjoyed by the neighbouring states. Many of the uprooted oustees are still awaiting rehabilitation," Virbhadra added.

He said the state had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court in 1996, alleging that it had been denied its share from BBMB projects. The government had pleaded 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.

Last year, the Supreme Court had 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.

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