The Himachal tussle with Punjab over the Shanan project
The Himachal Pradesh government has once again made it clear that it will not budge in the ongoing dispute between Punjab and Himachal Pradesh over the 99-year-old lease of the British-era Shanan Hydropower Project located in Jogindernagar, Himachal Pradesh.
Shanan Power House
- In Himachal Pradesh, India, the Shanan Power House lies 2 kilometres from Jogindernagar and was first put into service in 1932.
- Raja Karan Sen, the monarch of the Joginder Nagar region at the time, worked with British Engineer Colonel B.C. Batty and his crew constructed and build the power plant.
- The Punjab State Electricity Board currently controls the power plant, and all of the money made from it goes to the provincial government of Punjab.
- However, after a 99-year lease is up in 2024, there are plans to transfer ownership of the power plant to the Himachal Pradesh government.
- Using water from the Uhl River, five hydroelectric power plants were initially intended to be built. Due to Mr Batty’s passing, however, only three power stations were finished. One of the additional power plants in the region is the Bassi Power Station.
- A railway line was constructed from Pathankot to Joginder Nagar to aid with the construction process, providing transportation for employees and supplies.
- Additionally, a tram system with a funicular was built to convey building supplies to the hilltop where the water reservoir at Barot will be located.
Points to ponder:
- In Jogindernagar, Himachal Pradesh, there is a power project from the British era called the Shanan Hydropower Project.
- The Punjab government presently has control over the project thanks to a 99-year lease that will end in March 2024.
- The Shanan Hydropower Project’s lease will not be renewed or extended, according to the Himachal Pradesh government.
- During his visit to the state, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu spoke with Union Power Minister R.K. Singh and pleaded for a swift transfer of the project to the state.
- The 99-year lease on the project would expire on March 2, 2024, according to a letter that Mr Sukhu sent to Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
- The Himachal Pradesh government claims that because the Shanan project was only supplied on a lease, the Punjab government does not have ownership rights to it.
- However, the Punjabi government is adamant about keeping control of the project and has stated that it is prepared to use the judicial system to that end if required.
- The Shanan Hydropower Project disagreement between Punjab and Himachal Pradesh has not been settled.