BBMB row: Not barred, but aspirants fear they may not qualify : The Tribune India

BBMB row: Not barred, but aspirants fear they may not qualify

BBMB row: Not barred, but aspirants fear they may not qualify

The recent Union Government notification amending the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) Rules does not change the norms regarding representation for members from Punjab and Haryana, as mentioned in the original notification of 1974.



Tribune News Service

Vijay Mohan

Chandigarh, March 6

The recent Union Government notification amending the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) Rules does not change the norms regarding representation for members from Punjab and Haryana, as mentioned in the original notification of 1974.

It was a convention rather than a rule to have the Member (Power) from Punjab and Member (Irrigation) from Haryana. The amended rules notified on February 23 do not debar these states from having their representatives apply for these posts. Nor do they change the convention.

A ministry note says that representation of all four BBMB member-states — Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh — remains. The states will continue to have a senior bureaucrat on the board nominated by the respective state governments. The power and irrigation benefits accruing to the member-states on pre-determined percentages stay unchanged.

The BBMB, a statutory body constituted under the Punjab Re-Organisation Act, 1966, manages the Sutlej and Beas water resources and hydropower stations. It has a whole-time chairman and two whole-time members designated as Member (Irrigation) and Member (Power) appointed by the Centre. Earlier, there were no specific rules in the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, or the BBMB Rules, 1974, on the eligibility criteria, qualification and experience for appointment as whole-time members. “The new rules will help ascertain the suitability of the candidate for appointment as members,” the note from the ministry reads.

Posts of chairman and whole-time members will be filled on deputation/direct recruitment with the approval of the Cabinet Appointments Committee. The Member (Irrigation) is required to be a civil engineer with a minimum 20 years of regular experience of which at least three years must be as head of a project involved in the construction and operation of a large dam with a minimum 50m height and 300m length, or a barrage with a minimum 15m height and 350m length, or a canal network with a carrying capacity of a minimum 1,000 cusecs.

The Member (Power) must be an electrical/mechanical engineer with a minimum 20 years’ experience and at least three years as head of a project involved in the construction and operation of large hydro-electric projects with over 200 MW capacity or a minimum 500 circuit kilometre transmission line of 132kV.

Under the revised rules, the Chairman must be a civil, electrical or mechanical engineer with a minimum 25 years’ experience, of which at least five should have been as head of a large hydro-electric project of 200MW capacity or above, or operation and construction of a minimum 500 circuit kilometre transmission line with voltage above 132kV. He should be experienced in constructing and operating large dams.

‘No big dams, can’t meet criteria’

While the amended rules notified on February 23 do not debar Punjab and Haryana from having their representatives apply for top BBMB posts, engineers from these states point out that there are no big dams/barrages in the region. Hence, they do not have the requisite experience to apply for the posts. Their consternation has resonated with the political parties, who have been protesting on the issue.

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