Now Himachal govt. wants to give hydroprojects back to Brakel

Shimla: In a surprising U turn on it’s earlier stand Himachal government informed the Supreme Court that it would give 960 Mw Jangi-Thopan and Thopan Powari power projects to Brakel Corporation of Netherland.

In an affidavit filed before the apex court, the state government said it would not cancel the allotment made in favour of the Netherlands-based Brakel Corp, which has business association with Adani Group, contrary to its earlier order in October 2009 cancelling the allotment and imposing penalty of Rs 280 crore for delay in the project.

The state government has also denied the allegations of the Anil Ambani group firm that there was unfairness, arbitrariness and illegality while awarding the project to the Netherlands-based firm, the lowest bidder. ADAG firm was the second-lowest bidder for the two hydro projects coming up on the Sutlej river in Kinnaur district.

“All the allegations of unfairness, arbitrariness and illegality made against the state are baseless and deserved to be rejected straightway. All the decisions in the matter have been taken by the council of ministers and after considering the report of the committee of secretaries,” said the state government in its 10-page affidavit.

Earlier on October 22, 2009, following the orders of the Shimla High Court, the state government had cancelled the allotment to Brakel and imposed a penalty of Rs 280 crore for delaying the project.

Passing an order on October 7, 2009, on a petition filed by Reliance Infrastructure, the High Court had cancelled the allotment made by the state government in favour of Brakel.

However, the High Court had also refused to pass directions to the Himachal government to award the project to ADAG firm which was the second-lowest bidder. Instead, it gave freedom to the state government to either retender the entire project or to go for the old bids.

The apex court’s direction has come after High Court’s order was challenged by Brakel and ADAG firm before the Supreme Court. In their petitions, Brakel had challenged the entire order of the High Court, where the ADAG firm challenged the options granted to the state government between inviting fresh bids or go with older bid.

The matter has been listed for hearing in the division bench of Justices Aftab Alam and B.S. Chauhan July 27.

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