Is BBMB going to become a one man show from October 1? Will Punjab’s representation become a history?
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in
Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) is dedicated to the service of nation and is engaged in regulation of the supply of Water & Power from Bhakra Nangal and Beas Projects to the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pardesh, Delhi and Chandigarh.
The supreme body of Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) is headed by a Whole Time Chairman and two Whole Time Members i.e. Member (Irrigation) and Member (Power) who head the Irrigation and Power Wings of BBMB respectively. The Financial Adviser & CAO heads the Finance & Accounts Wing of BBMB.
As per the conventional practice, two posts of full time members (irrigation and power) have always been filled by candidates of Punjab and Haryana. The members were generally nominated by respective state governments. Member (Power), is responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the BBMB’s powerhouses, substations and power transmission and Member (Irrigation), is responsible for the day-to-day operations and maintenance of dams, barrages and hydel channels.
“Union power ministry in its notification dated February 23, amended the selection criterion and allowing anyone to apply. With this now anyone can apply for the posts of director irrigation and power which is allocated to Punjab and Haryana engineers. Most of the power and irrigation engineers from Punjab and Haryana are not going to fulfill that new, revised conditions as it is made by keeping BJP ruled states like Himachal , Uttrakhand etc, due to which Punjab and Haryana will not get any representation in Bhakra Beas Management Board. ” said a retired senior engineer of PSPCL.
At present Sanjay Srivastava is holding the charge of Chairman and Member, Irrigation, as the Haryana government has not appointed any Member after the unceremonious removal of Gulab Singh Narwal as member irrigation. Harminder Singh Chugh is the Member (Power).
Is BBMB going to become a one man show from October 1? Will Punjab’s representation become a history?. “In March this year, the Centre has extended the tenure of Member (Power) Harminder Singh Chugh by six months and now he is going to retire on September 30,2022, paving way for the Chairman to get full control over BBMB.Chugh has attained his age of superannuation and is not going to get an extension. This will end Punjab’s representation in the BBMB. Moreover, the chairman is already holding the charge of member irrigation as the Haryana government has not appointed any officer after the removal of Gulab Singh in 2020” said a senior PSPCL official on the condition of anonymity.
As per practice, BBMB demands a panel of engineers beforehand, to select a Member Power. But, no panel is demanded this time.
As per sources, the Punjab government has forwarded the panel of names on its own, but till date no action has been seen from the board, ministry with only 10 days left .
This is going to be the first time in the history of BBMB that chairman is going to be the wholly-solely incharge of the board as after the retirement of Harminder Singh Chugh, all the two departments –irrigation and power come under the charge of Chairman Sanjay Srivastava.
Gulab Singh Narwal had joined as Member Irrigation in Bhakra Beas Management Board on 27th March 2019, for a period of three years. But, he was prematurely repatriated to his parent cadre, state (Haryana) in September 9, 2020, as he challenged the appointment of BBMB chairman by the Centre govt. The centre govt on July 17, 2020, appointed Tanmay Kumar, a 1993-batch IAS officer as the chairman of BBMB. The appointment was challenged by Gulab Singh Narwal, BBMB member (irrigation), as Narwal was the senior-most member of the board.
When contacted the Member of Parliament from Sri Anandpur Sahib and former Union Minister Manish Tewari, he said “ I don’t about this that from October 1 Punjab representation in BBMB is going to end. I’ll check what is happening in the BBMB. This is wrong, if this is going to happen. Moreover, I had already moved a resolution in the Lok Sabha demanding the cancellation of the notification of Bhakra Beas Management Board(BBMB, )which he termed as biased towards Punjab.”