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Current Affairs

Rule change in Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB)

Date: 04 March 2022 Tags: Bills & Laws

Issue

The decision by the centre to amend the rules regarding appointments to two key positions on the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has been opposed by political parties.

 

Background

The BBMB came into existence after the Indus Water Treaty was signed between India and Pakistan in 1960.

 

Details

  • Under Indus Water Treaty, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej were allotted to India for exclusive use while Indus, Chenab and Jhelum rivers were allocated to Pakistan.

  • To harness potential of these rivers for assured irrigation, power generation and flood control, a master plan was developed.

  • Under the plans, Bhakra and Beas projects were established as a joint venture of the then undivided Punjab and Rajasthan.

 

Formation of BBMB

  • The BBMB was created under Section 79 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, after the formation of Haryana in 1966.

  • The Bhakra Nangal project was handed over to Bhakra management board in 1967. After completion of Beas projects, they were also handed over to Bhakra management board and renamed as Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB).

  • The board is responsible for regulating supply of water and power to Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Chandigarh.

 

Constitution

  • Board consists of a chairperson and two whole time members from Punjab and Haryana. They are designated as Member (Power) and Member (Irrigation) from Punjab and Haryana.

  • Representatives from member states including Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh are nominated by the respective state governments.

 

New changes proposed

  • Amendments have been made to change the criteria for the selection of whole-time members of the Board. 

  • Technical qualifications have been created for members, allowing the members from across India and not only Punjab and Haryana.

 

Response

  • Opposition political parties in Punjab have labelled this as an attack on the federal structure of the country.

  • The BBMB says that representations for Punjab and Haryana will continue. The changes are regarding technical qualifications needed for Member (Power) and Member (Irrigation).