Chandigarh, February 27
After new rules notified by the central government for the appointment of two top functionaries of the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) kicked up a controversy, the board on Sunday said the representation of all the four BBMB member states is secured and they continue having equal representation on the board as well as getting the existing benefits.
BBMB is a statutory body constituted under The Punjab Re-Organisation Act, 1966, that manages the water resources of the Sutlej and Beas and controls hydro power stations located on these rivers. It consists of a whole-time Chairman and two whole-time members designated as Member (Irrigation) and Member (Power), appointed by the Central government.
A representative each member state—Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh – is nominated by the respective state government.
As per convention, Member (Irrigation) and Member (Power) were appointed from senior engineers serving in the state of Punjab and Haryana. New rules allowed appointment of engineers serving in any state across the country.
A section of stakeholders had contended that the new rules drastically reduce the chances of aspirants from Punjab and Haryana to be appointed to these two posts, which may adversely affect the interests of these states. Political leaders across various parties too had voiced similar concerns.
Pointing out that the structure of BBMB remains unchanged and no previously existing member has been dropped and no new member has been added, an official statement issued today said, “The recently notified rules only specify the technical qualifications required for the functional members -- Power and Irrigation -- in BBMB. The notified rules comply with the directions of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana in Jagmohan Singh Vs Union of India and others.”
“Earlier, neither The Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, nor BBMB Rules, 1974, specified the eligibility criteria, necessary qualification or relevant experience for appointment to the post of whole-time members in BBMB. The new rules will help ascertain the suitability of the candidate for appointment of members,” the statement added.
The power and Irrigation benefits accruing to the member states on pre-determined percentages also remain unchanged.
Rules notified by the Ministry of Power on February 23 state that the posts of the Chairman and whole-time members shall be filled on deputation or direct recruitment basis with the approval of the Appointment Committee of Cabinet.
The Member (Irrigation) is required to be a civil engineering with minimum 20 years of regular experience of which at least three years should be as head of a project involved in construction and operation of a large dam having minimum 50m height and 300m length, or a barrage of minimum 15m height and 350m length or a canal network with water carrying capacity of minimum 1,000 cusecs.
The Member (Power) should be an electrical or mechanical engineer with minimum 20 years experience and at least three years as head of a project involved in construction and operation of large hydro electric projects above 200 MW capacity or minimum 500 circuit kilometres transmission line of 132kV and above.
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