Umesh Dewan, Tribune News Service
Patiala, April 1. With the apex court dismissing petitions filed by Punjab and Haryana for a review of the court judgment dated September 27, 2011, wherein both the states were directed to raise the Himachal Pradesh share of power in the Bhakra-Nangal project from 2.5 per cent to 7.19 per cent, with retrospective effect from 1966, has certainly come as a “shocker” for the cash-strapped power corporation.
In the wake of the fact that Punjab is a power-deficit state and Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) is already in a precarious fiscal situation, the dismissal of the petition is being considered as a major setback for the state.
According to the senior functionaries of the Punjab Government, deliberations will be held to chalk out future course of action once they get a copy of the court judgment.
Notably, on September 27, 2011, the Supreme Court had pronounced its verdict on a suit filed by Himachal Pradesh in 1996, bringing down the Punjab’s share from the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) projects from 54.5 per cent to 51.8 per cent. Subsequently, Punjab moved a petition in the apex court seeking the review of the court verdict.
Elaborating on the matter, some senior officials of the PSPCL said, “Dismissal of the petition means an increase in Punjab’s power deficit by 3,000 lakh units (LUs) annually. To fill this shortfall, the corporation will have to purchase power from other states, which will put an additional annual burden of around Rs 80-90 crore on it.”