Himachal Pradesh defers decision on controversial power project

November 3rd, 2008 - 9:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Nov 3 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh cabinet Monday deferred a decision on a hydropower project that has been mired in allegations of financial and technical incompetence ever since it was awarded to Dutch company Brakel Corp.The Rs.40-billion ($869 million) Thopan-Powari-Jangi hydropower project in Kinnaur district was allotted to Brakel in 2006 by the then Congress government.

Later, Reliance Energy moved the Himachal Pradesh High Court stating that the government had granted special favours to Brakel in allotting the project.

“The state cabinet had listed the issue for discussion Monday but deferred taking a decision on it,” an official source told IANS.

Executives of the Dutch hydropower major met Principal Power Secretary Ajay Mittal last month to emphasise Brakel was capable of completing the project within the time frame.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is yet to sign a pre-implementation agreement, which is mandatory before beginning work on a project. In fact, it had despatched two show-cause notices to Brakel asking why the company’s bid should not be scrapped.

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