The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet has granted permission to allot the controversial 15 MW Sai Kothi hydroelectric project in favour of HPSEB Ltd.
Earlier, 15 MW Sai Kothi hydroelectric project, contemplated a run of the river scheme on Baira nallah, a tributary of river Suil/Ravi in Tissa of District Chamba, was awarded to the Venture Energy and Technology Ltd Company in June 2002. However later in Dec 2002, after finding irregularities, the then BJP government issued Show Cause notice and in 2003 Govt cancelled the project and in 2004 terminated its MOU.
Though, after terminating its MOU with the company, Congress led Govt later restore this project to the same company. After not completing the project, the state government again issued show-cause notice to the company and after putting penalty, Govt granted extension to the company. But even after repeating extension, the Power Company could not complete the project, the state government decided to terminate its MOU again. But after change of power in the state, again Congress led Govt granted extension to the company, which draws criticism from the opposition BJP.
BJP were openly accusing involvement of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in it and also claimed to have Singh’s family members’ shares in the beneficiary company.
Many BJP leaders, including Arun Jaitley and Prem Kumar Dhumal, had demanded clarification from Chief Minister and even Jaitley had written to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and accused Singh for favouring a power company for monetary compensation to his family.
In reply to the BJP leaders’ accusations, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had filled a defamation suit against them with a view to give befitting reply to the nefarious designs of the BJP leaders.