After a net loss of Rs 1,400 crore to the state exchequer,mainly due to irregularities in the earlier bidding process and protracted litigation,Himachal Pradesh cabinet Tuesday approved the re-bidding for the much-delayed Jangi-Thopan-Pawari (960 MW ) hydel projects.
In 2009,Himachal Pradesh High Court had quashed the allotment of the project to the Netherland-based Brakel Corporation but the government,then led by the BJP,could not decide on fresh bidding.
In the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh,the power department was allowed to invite fresh bids for the project on old power policy - competitive bidding on upfront premium instead of free power share. The government hopes to gain substantially in getting a higher offer for upfront premium.
In another important decision,the cabinet granted approval to roll out food security scheme in the state as proposed by the Centre and directed the food and civil supplies department to work out modalities on launching it next month.
The cabinet also decided to select about 7,750 ASHA workers under the National Rural Health Mission for providing better health care services in the rural areas. They will be paid a monthly honorarium of Rs 850. The government also decided to raise the income limit from Rs 4.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh per annum for determining the creamy layer for OBC .
On its stand to get full share of 7.19 per cent from the BBMB,including arrears of denied power share since 1966,the government gave its go ahead to the power department to file a counter affidavit against the Centre,which had curtailed the amount of arrears to Rs 1,499 crore instead of Rs 4,250 crore proposed by the state government.
The government also decided to give one time permission to make admission to B Tech courses in the private universities and engineering institutions in the state on the basis of qualifying examinations. It however fixed a cut-off of 65 per cent marks in physics,mathematics and one of the subjects from chemistry,bio-technology,computer science and biology.
It also approved setting up of Authority of Hydro Project Safety,Quality Control & Water Management in the Directorate of Energy,for monitoring the progress of allotment and subsequent execution of Hydel projects in private sector.