The Newz Radar
SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh government has initiated preparations to terminate Punjab’s involvement in the Shanan power project in Mandi’s Jogindernagar.
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has made it clear that once the lease period of the project expires, it would not be renewed in favour of Punjab. Himachal engineers would take over the project’s operations as soon as the lease period ended on March 2, 2024, the Chief Minister is learnt to have told his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann.
The state government has not made any decision regarding the renewal or extension of the lease and has cited the Punjab Reorganisation Act. During the British rule, the then King of Mandi, Joginder Singh, had leased the Shanan project to Punjab on March 3, 1925, for a period of 99 years for power generation. Presently, the project, under POWERCOM, generates 110 MW of hydropower, providing affordable electricity to Punjab.
However, the project’s condition has deteriorated due to the neglect by the Punjab Government. The maintenance of the buildings, ropeway trolley service and other equipment has been halted by the Punjab Government. The British had even established a narrow-gauge rail line between Pathankot and Jogindernagar to transport heavy machinery to the Shanan complex, which has now become a popular tourist spot.
Following the reorganisation of states in 1966, the Shanan power house was handed over to Punjab by the Central government, as the lease agreement signed in 1925 between British representative Colonel BC Batty and Raja Joginder Sen of Mandi had not yet expired. Chief Minister Sukhu has appealed to the Punjab Chief Minister to cooperate in this transition and with the lease set to conclude, Himachal Pradesh is prepared to reclaim full control of the Shanan power project.