No compromise on state's interests in hydropower projects CM Sukhu

Shimla, Sep 19 (PTI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Tuesday asserted there would be no compromise on the state's interest in hydropower projects.
     He accused the previous BJP government of "selling" the interest of the state in hydropower projects.
    Replying to a question by BJP's Sukhram Chowdhary in the assembly, Sukhu said his government has amended the energy policy and decided to restore the royalty in hydropower projects which was ended by the BJP government.
    This government would not allow the interests of the state to be bartered, he said.
    "During the Investors' meet, the BJP government signed MOUs with Public Sector Undertakings - Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) -- in respect of Dhaula-Sidha, Sainj and Sunni-Luhri hydel projects, sans royalty and these companies started construction works without permission and the government has served notices to these companies for restoration of royalty and starting works without permission," Sukhu said.
    The NTPC has expressed willingness for talks on the issue while the SJVN had moved the High Court and the decision was in the favour of the government, he said.     He asserted if the companies do not comply with the directions of the government, these allotted projects would be taken back and executed by the government.
    Noisy scenes were witnessed during the question hour on the issue of closure of institutions by the government. Leader of the opposition, Jai Ram Thakur said that the government has closed 1,050 institutions opened by the previous government.
    Intervening in the matter, the chief minister said these institutions were closed after conducting a survey and the government is ready to give a detailed reply on the issue.
    The government would make appointments and open institutions on need basis and not on political considerations.
     The chief minister said six government institutions including Kala Amb Sub-Tehsil and five Patwar circles have been closed in the Nahan assembly constituency.
     The chief minister informed the house in response to a question by K L Thakur (Independent) that 1,343 cases of "Employment on compassionate grounds" were pending till January 1, 2023 while 59 cases were rejected due to late submission.
    He said the previous BJP government rejected 1,766 cases of employment on compassionate grounds in governments and 736 in Boards and Corporations.
    In a reply to a question by Kewal Singh Pathania (Congress), Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri said that 800 buses were sanctioned under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission in 2014-15, out of which 791 have been purchased.
    He said 775 buses costing Rs 220.49 crore were purchased from Tata Motors and 16 buses worth Rs 11 crore from Asoka Leyland. Out of these, 719 buses are operational.

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)