Shivasamudram project will be executed: State

Karnataka facing acute power shortage, Supreme Court told


In its reply to a petition filed by Tamil Nadu against the execution of the project, the State  said: “Karnataka is experiencing a huge power shortage of as much as 40 per cent. In view of the deficit power position, the State of Karnataka in 2008-09 was having power cuts in rural areas up to 12 to 15 hours and in city areas up to six hours.’’
During the hearing of the petition by a bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Karnataka said it had given a  reply to Tamil Nadu’s plea in its affidavit filed on Tuesday.  
Karnataka is generating 59.2 MW power on run-of-the-river basis at Shivasamudram, which is within its border and upstream of the inter-state border. Karnataka justified the construction of projects, saying: “The Shivasamudram Hydroelectric Project is based on run-of-the-river technology, which involves no consumptive use of water except little evaporation losses.’’

The reply filed by advocate Sanjay Hegde said as far as the release of water to Tamil Nadu was concerned, the project would be so designed that it would not affect the pattern of flow to the neighbouring state.

On handing over the projects to NHPC, the reply said: “In the letter dated 03-09-2008, the secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources has clarified to the principal secretary, Energy Department, Tamil Nadu, that even Tamil Nadu did not give consent for entrusting the execution of hydroelectric projects with NHPC.”

On August 21, the Supreme Court had sought a response from Karnataka to a petition filed by Tamil Nadu seeking direction to restrain the State from executing the Shivasamudram project.

Notice to Centre

The Centre was directed by the apex court on Tuesday to file its response to a plea filed by noted jurist Ram Jethmalani seeking disclosure of certain vital documents in connection with its investigation to unearth black-money stashed in foreign banks.

Advocate Anil Diwan appearing for Jethmalani and others submitted that the authorities were withholding vital documents relating to the case.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium submitted the status report, in a sealed cover relating to investigations carried by the Enforcement Directorate against Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan against whom the Directorate has lodged a complaint for violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

Banks hauled up

In a separate case, the apex court issued notice to the RBI, all the nationalised banks and the Indian Bank Association, asking why the excess money collected from borrowers were not deposited to the disabled fund.

Association of Borrowers of Karnataka had filed a petition before the apex court that the banks were not complying to its order of April 16, 2004 directing them to deposit the money with the fund that had been created under Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

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