Himachal to take over Shanan power project from Punjab in 2024

Himachal to take over Shanan power project from Punjab in 2024

The ropeway trolley, the attraction of the Shanan project, is non-functional.

Ravinder Sood

Palampur, November 10

The British-era 110-mw Shanan Hydropower Project at Jogindernagar is in a shambles due to the apathy of the Punjab Government. The 99-year-old lease of the project will expire in 2024 after which it will be handed over to the Himachal Government.

The Punjab Government has stopped maintaining its buildings, ropeway trolley service and other equipment of the project.

“The Shanan powerhouse is one of the oldest, which used to feed the entire undivided Punjab, Lahore and Delhi before Independence. Its more of a tourist resort than a mere powerhouse. Thousands of tourists from across the world visit the Barot valley to enjoy the ride of haulage way trucks and trolleys up to Barot.”

After the reorganisation of states in 1966, the Shanan powerhouse was given to Punjab by the Centre as the lease agreement, signed in 1925 between British representative Col BC Batty and Raja Joginder Sen of Mandi, was yet to expire.

Col Batty had drawn up plans to construct five units of the project utilising the tail water of Shanan but died before his dream came true. Later, the Himachal government constructed the 66 mw Bassi power house. It was augmented to 100 mw and another 100 mw Chulaha Power Project is now under construction.

This powerhouse was constructed against the backdrop of dense deodar forests with a four-stage haulage rail network starting from Jogindernagar up to Barot, a cup-shaped village on the banks of the Uhl.

The British had also laid a narrow gauge rail line between Pathankot and Jogindernagar to transport heavy machinery to the Shanan complex.

99-year lease expires in 2024

After the reorganisation of states in 1966, the Shanan powerhouse was given to Punjab by the Centre as the lease agreement, signed in 1925 between British representative Col BC Batty and Raja Joginder Sen of Mandi, was yet to expire.

Tribune Shorts


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