Chandigarh, February 27
After new rules notified by the Centre for the appointment of two top functionaries of the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) kicked up a row, the board today said the representation of all four BBMB member states is secured and they will continue to have equal representation on the board as well as get existing benefits.
- New rules do not alter representation or benefits of member states, the BBMB says, adding its structure remains unchanged
- Rules only specify technical qualifications required for functional members — Power and Irrigation — in compliance with HC orders
- The Power and Irrigation benefits accruing to member states on pre-determined percentages remain unchanged, it adds
The BBMB is a statutory body constituted under the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, that manages the water resources of the Sutlej and Beas and controls hydropower 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 Centre. A representative of 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 Punjab and Haryana. New rules allowed appointment of engineers serving in any state across the country.
A section of stakeholders had contended the new rules drastically reduced the chances of aspirants from Punjab and Haryana to be appointed to these two posts, which may affect the interests of these states. Political leaders across various parties, too, had voiced similar concerns.
Pointing out that the structure of the BBMB remained unchanged and no previously existing member had been dropped and no new member had 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 the BBMB. The notified rules comply with the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court 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.
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