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AIPEF urges Power Minister to scrap the amended rules and expedite selection of BBMB members

VINOD GUPTA | May 31, 2022 05:46 PM

CHANDIGARH: All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPF) has written to R K Singh union Power Minister on Tuesday to scrap the amended rules for selection of whole time Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) members and the process for appointment of Member ( Irrigation )and Member(Power ) be expedited.

V K Gupta AIPEF Spokesperson said that the post of Member / Irrigation is lying vacant for the last 20 months, since the incumbent was repatriated back to Haryana. Haryana government had sent a panel of three irrigation engineers for selection but nothing has been done till to date. Chairman BBMB is holding the additional charge of Member (Irrigation).

In the case of Member (Power), the extended six month term expires on September 27 and the selection process has not been started yet. Past experience shows that the procedure for selecting and appointing the whole time member is time -consuming and it takes at least
six months to one year period for selecting a new incumbent. The letter mentions that the BBMB was constituted under Punjab Re-organization Act 1966 specifies that the BBMB management board shall consist of a whole -time Chairman and two whole-time members to be appointed by the Central Government.

Punjab and Haryana are the biggest stakeholders of BBMB with maximum share in irrigation and power benefits.
As a long-standing convention, Member (Power) was drawn from Punjab, while Member(Irrigation) from Haryana and Chairman appointed from out of stakeholder partner states. This simple and straightforward provision of the statute has been implemented t without any controversy for the past 55 years.

However, under section 97 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act 1966, the center issued the notification on the 23rd. February
about change in the rules for the appointment of full-time members of the BBMB. The notification has been tabled in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to give MPs an opportunity for 30 days to file their objections. A number of MPs from Punjab and Haryana have filed objections and this needs to be scrapped.

V K Gupta said that this notification kicked up a controversy, as the new criteria make it difficult for aspirants from Punjab to get selected. Under new rules, the two posts of Member Power (MP) and Member Irrigation (MI), have been opened up to candidates belonging to any state across the country.
Both Punjab and Haryana have protested against the new selection criterion and asked the central government not to make any change in the existing procedure. Under the present circumstances, it looks extremely difficult to complete the selection process by September 27 and this will be a clear violation of section 79 of Punjab Reorganisation Act 1966.

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