Haryana opposes imposition of water cess on hydro projects by Himachal

Chandigarh: Opposing the Ordinance passed by Himachal Pradesh to impose water cess on hydropower projects for non-consumptive use of water for power generation, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday described the cess illegal, not binding on Haryana, and sought its withdrawal.

On the last day of the Budget session, the Chief Minister moved a resolution to oppose the Ordinance, which was unanimously supported and passed by the entire House.

It also urged the Central government to prevail upon the Himachal government to withdraw the Ordinance as it is in violation of the central Act i.e. the Inter State Water Disputes Act of 1956.

With this new levy, there will be an additional financial burden amounting to Rs 1, 200 crore per annum on partner states, out of which around Rs 336 crore will be burden on Haryana.

This new levy is not only an infringement of the exclusive rights of the state over its natural resources but will also result in additional financial burden for the generation of power resulting in the higher cost of generation of electricity, Khattar said.

“The levy of water cess by the government of Himachal Pradesh is against the provision of the Inter State Water Dispute Act of 1956. The state of Haryana through the Bhakra Beas Management Projects is already liberal in releasing 7.19 per cent of electricity of the composite share of Haryana and Punjab to HP, ” he said.