Shimla: Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister today released the new Hydel Power Policy of the State and said that the State would explore the possibilities of stepping into non-conventional energy sector to generate more power to add to the existing potential of the State to make, Himachal Pradesh the Power State in real sense.
- State to explore Non Conventional Energy Sector.
- Government considering to create Authority for hydro project safety, quality control and management of water flow and discharge.
- Government proposing to enhance subsidy to benefit consumers.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister said that the State had vast potential of about 21,000 MW out of which 6,150 MW had been generated. He said that the need had emerged to explore possibilities of generating more power through Thermal, Gas, Atomic and other non-conventional energy sectors. He said that the State had approached the Government of India to permit thermal power generation by allotting pit head in the State where vast thermal deposits were available to generate about 500 MW power to cater to the increased power demand during winter season when less flow in the rivers resulted into low power generation.
Virbhadra Singh said that the State Government was actively considering creation of an authority for hydro project safety, quality control and management of water flows and discharge in the near future. He said that the Authority would be responsible for the appropriate use of excavated mud, boulders and stones, the developmental departments like PWD, IPH and others shall be allowed to use such material free of cost besides private crusher owners and other private users could also be permitted to utilize the same.
Chief Minister said that the State Government was proposing to enhance the subsidy at a much higher scale from the existing provision of Rs. 100 crore to benefit the domestic, agriculture, horticulture sectors, government health and educational institutions for the first time besides BPL families, destitute homes and other eligible sections of the society. He said that the State was offering the lowest power tariff in the country in domestic and commercial sectors and had surplus power available and on full exploitation of entire hydel potential, the State would be in a position to meet its power demand for about 100 years to come.
He said that Rs. 80,000 crore hydel power investment was expected in coming decade. He said that the State had also constituted Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation which had been registered and was likely to start functioning at full swing very soon.
Chief Minister said that his Government had made it mandatory to provide 70 percent employment at all levels to the unemployed youth of the State, minimum wages to the workers, good working conditions and service benefits. He said that the State Government had also made it mandatory to deploy one labour officer in the projects with 50 MW and above capacity to safeguard the interests of the workers. He said that the project authorities also needed to provide suitable residential accommodation for its workers.
Virbhadra Singh said that the State was very much concerned about the safety of its most valuable environment and ecology and while harnessing the hydel potential, there was a need to strike a balance, maintain the traditional riparian rights of the people, involve the developers in the process of local area development, ensure attractive relief and rehabilitation package, attractive land compensation, employment opportunities besides restoring the fragile ecology and environment and adequate resource mobilization for the State.
Chief Minister said that State Government was considering charging Rs. 10 lakhs per MW for projects above 100 MW from the developers and additionally, the State was also considering realization of royalty ranging from 12 to 30 percent and after 40 years, the project shall be reverting back to the State.