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Maharashtra claims Rs 1,800 crore compensation from Gujarat

Published : May 25, 2016, 2:21 am IST
Updated : May 25, 2016, 2:21 am IST

Maharashtra has claimed a compensation of Rs 1,800 crore from Gujarat for not getting its due share of electricity produced by riverbed power houses (RBPHs) built under Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP).

Maharashtra has claimed a compensation of Rs 1,800 crore from Gujarat for not getting its due share of electricity produced by riverbed power houses (RBPHs) built under Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP).

Since October last year, the Gujarat government has shut down power generation from RBPHs and reserved water at Sardar Sarovar dam for drinking purposes. As a result, Maharashtra, which is one of the beneficiaries of RBPHs with a 26 per cent stake, has not got its share of electricity from the project, said an official from Maharashtra Power Distribution Company on condition of anonymity. Power minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule agreed that Gujarat had not supplied the state’s share of power supply; however, he was unaware of the amount Maharashtra has asked for as compensation from Gujarat.

“The Maharashtra government has written to Narmada Control Authority (NCA) as well as Central Electricity Authority (CEA), complaining it has not received its due share of power after Gujarat’s decision to shut RBPHs. And to get this loss compensated, Maharashtra has claimed Rs 1,800 crore from Gujarat,” the official said. Under the Narmada Tribunal Award, Madhya Pradesh has a 57 per cent share of total 1,450 MW power generated from RBPHs and Canal Head Power Houses while Maharashtra and Gujarat have 27 per cent and 16 per cent shares, respectively, of the total power generated. It may be noted here that SSNNL authorities had first decided to stop power generation at six RBPHs in February last year and divert dam waters for irrigation. Power generation was again suspended in July and then in October till date and diverted to farms to “save farmers’ crops” due to scarce rainfall.

The official said that SSP which is at the tail end of the Narmada river is a joint venture of four constituent states i.e. Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The cost of the dam has been apportioned in the ratio of 56.1:43.9 between power and irrigation. The cost of the irrigation component is to be shared between Gujarat and Rajasthan. The cost of the power component is to be shared between Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat in the same ratio as the sharing of power in terms of the award i.e. 57:27:16.

The MSEDCL official said that in 2014-15, MSEDCL received 767 million units (MUs) amounting to Rs 160 crores; in 2015-16, MSEDCL received 565 MUs amounting to Rs 115.89 crore. In April 2016, MSEDCL received only 4.21 MUs amounting to Rs 86 lakh as Gujarat had not provided power supply to Maharashtra.