Jammu And Kashmir Plans To Penalise Baglihar Contractors

22 April 2008

Jammu: The sluggish pace of work at Baglihar power project has irritated the Jammu and Kashmir government and it has constituted a panel to suggest measures to penalise the contractors who have allegedly shifted completion date for over three years now. Sources in the government revealed that a three-member panel headed by Haseeb Drabu, economic advisor to Jammu and Kashmir, has been set up to examine the issue of penalising the contractors of the 450 MW hydro-electric project over river Chenab. This is the first mega hydro-electric power project in the state, while all other major power projects are with the National Hydro-electric Power Project (NHPC). The NHPC has executed works at Salal, Dul Hasti, Uri projects. The sources said contractors had been taking advantage of the “weak clauses” in the contract signed between them and the state government during the National Conference government in late 1990s, headed by Farooq Abdullah. According to the sources, the failure of the contractors to complete the project by June 30 this year may result in penalty of over Rs.800 million ($20 million).