Himachal nod to 167 hydroelectric projects in four years

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Shimla, Sep 3 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh, with a power generation potential of about 27,000 MW, has accorded approval to 167 hydroelectric projects in four years, the state government said on Sunday.

During this period, 31 projects aggregating to 2,067 Megawatt capacity were commissioned, including 800 MW Kol Dam, 412 MW Rampur, 130 MW Kashang and 520 MW Parbati projects, a government statement said.

Of the 27,000 MW power potential in Himachal, only 10,400 MW has been tapped so far.

The Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Ltd has started execution of at least 22 projects totalling 300 MW capacity.

To start with, an 18 MW project will be executed at Raisan in Kullu district on a pilot basis. The World Bank will provide funding for it.

For ensuring safety and quality control in hydroelectric projects, the state has created a safety and quality control authority under the Directorate of Energy.

Mandatory procedural guidelines for dam safety and operational procedures have been enforced.

Mandatory inspections of operational projects have been ensured and flood safety measures regulated to avoid mishaps during monsoons, the government said.

A monitoring unit has also been established to look after the progress of projects and also to assess the milestones achieved by the project developers.

The state has also simplified the procedure for obtaining techno-clearance.

The Directorate of Energy has been authorised to issue technical concurrence to such projects whose total cost of construction is less than Rs 1,000 crore.

Admitting that the hydroelectric sector is slowing down, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has stressed the need to change the government policy to revive it in the state.

“The hydroelectric policy needs changes to harness the potential. We will provide all assistance to boost the power sector as it is major source of state revenue,” he said.

The Chief Minister was speaking at a seminar organised by the state-run Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd here on September 1.

At the seminar, Additional Chief Secretary Tarun Shridhar said the government has formed a committee to seek suggestions on reviving the sector.

–IANS

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