Dehradun: The Uttarakhand government is reeling under the burden of a loan granted by LIC. The loan which amounted to Rs 420 crore was granted to undivided Uttar Pradesh (which included Uttarakhand) for Maneri Bhali Phase II project in Uttarkashi.

Despite the audit report showing the loan expenditure by UP government under different heads, the Central government fixed Uttarakhand’s share at Rs 352 crore which has now reached a whopping amount of Rs 2600 crore after adding the interest rates.

LIC had granted a loan of Rs 420 crore for the 304 MW Maneri Bhali Phase II project during the time of undivided Uttar Pradesh which was however spent elsewhere. According to the CAG draft of 2002, not even a single penny was spent on the project. However, the Central government has put the burden of Rs 352 crore on Uttarakhand.

Considering the gravity of the situation, the Uttarakhand government is mulling over approaching the Supreme Court in this regard.

Meanwhile, the Water Power Corporation officials have made several efforts to gain some respite but the Uttar Pradesh government has put the matter in pending and has refused to talk on the issue.

However, Planning Minister Prakash Pant has asked to discuss the issue in State Advisory Council to find a way out.

Power Secretary Dr Umakant Pawar said, “Uttarakhand has raised this issue in Central and state meetings but to no avail.”

JPN/Bureau