Tribune News Service
Mandi, December 17
A four-member team of the Central Electricity Authority today inspected the 110-MW Shanan power house at Jogindernagar in the district. The team visited the 110 MW Head Works Gate, Lambadag, barrage gate, old reservoir and new reservoir. The team inspected the building, machinery and other equipment.
Jogindernagar MLA Gulab Singh Thakur said he had met Union Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal in Delhi on December 8 and apprised him of the deplorable condition of the power house. The MLA said he had requested the Union Minister to constitute a team for inspection of the project.
At present, the power house is in possession of the Punjab government and it will be handed over to the Himachal Pradesh government after completion of 99 years lease in 2024.
The MLA said no maintenance work had been carried out at the project for a long time and machines were in a deplorable condition. Nearly 100 staff quarters and the road leading to the power house were in a pathetic condition. Similar was the condition of the trolley-line, he added.
Thakur said the Punjab government had also reduced the strength of the staff from 350 to 150. There was no technical staff for upkeep of the project. The Punjab government was only minting money and not bothered about the maintenance of the project, he said.
The MLA said he had also urged the minister to appoint a Central engineer to monitor maintenance of the project till it was handed over the Himachal Pradesh. He said the minister had assured that he would act on the recommendations of the team report. He said the power house should be handed over to the state at the earliest as it was constructed on their land.
Thakur said he feared that when the project would be handed over to the state government after nine year, it might be of no use for the Himachal government.
Mandi MP Ramwaroop Sharma had also raised the issue in the Parliament and with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The members of the team include KK Neema, Balwan Kumar, SK Mishra and RM Khan. They would submit the report to the authority.
Commissioned in 1936 during the British rule in India, the Shanan Power House had been constructed under a 99-year lease deed executed between Joginder Sen, Raja of Mandi State and Col BC Batty, a representative of the British government in 1925. The project had been constructed in the most enchanting backdrop lush green dense deodar forests with a four-stage haulage rail network starting from Jogindernagar up to Barot, a cup-shaped village, on the bank of Uhl river, a tributary of the Beas river.
During the reorganisation of states in November, 1966, Shanan Power House went to Punjab as the 99-year lease deed between the Raja of Mandi and British Government had not expired at that time. The Shanan Power House used to feed the entire undivided Punjab and Delhi at that time.
The Punjab Government increased the generation in 1982 from 48 to 110 MW. According to the agreement, the State of Punjab was entitled to use power from the project till 2024.
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