Nadaun – In a startling turn of events, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has accused the BJP-led former state government of orchestrating a detrimental deal that allegedly undersold crucial hydel projects in Himachal Pradesh to the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN). Speaking at a media event during the inauguration of developmental projects in the Nadaun assembly constituency, Sukhu expressed deep concern over the BJP’s role in the Luhri, Sunni, and Dhaula-Siddh hydropower projects, suggesting that the state’s interests were compromised.

Amidst the ensuing controversy, the Himachal Pradesh government has taken proactive measures to regain control of the power projects from SJVN. The state government has approached the Union Minister, seeking to take over the Luhri, Sunni, and Dhaula-Siddh hydropower projects. Dissatisfied with the current state of the hydropower sector, the government aims to reassess and reevaluate the terms of these projects.

In a noteworthy departure from the previous administration’s concessions, the present government is determined to secure better royalty terms over the projects. The new royalty rates have been elevated from 12%, 18%, and 30% to 20%, 30%, and 40%, respectively. Reports suggest that the projects granted to SJVN were providing no more than 5% in royalty under the previous terms.

The Himachal Pradesh government’s decision to reassess and revise royalty rates underscores its commitment to ensuring a fair and equitable distribution of benefits from the state’s hydropower potential. This strategic move comes in response to the alleged disparities in returns from the projects granted to SJVN.

SJVN had initially taken up these projects during the previous government’s tenure. However, despite the initiation, the implementation agreement for these projects is yet to be signed, adding a layer of complexity to the evolving situation. The state government’s proactive approach in reclaiming control over these projects reflects a determination to secure terms that align with the state’s interests and economic well-being.

As the Himachal Pradesh government navigates this intricate terrain, the decision to increase royalty rates signals a strategic shift in the state’s approach towards harnessing its hydropower potential. The unfolding developments will likely influence the ongoing political dynamics, prompting further scrutiny of the alleged favourable deals and bringing to light the complexities involved in renegotiating key projects for the state’s energy future.