Himachal State Government would generate 10,000 MW hydel power by the end of 11th Plan ending in 2011-12. This was revealed by Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister in his presidential address delivered on the occasion of 4th Dr. Y.S. Parmar Memorial Lecture on â€œA Perspective on Indiaâ€™s Water Needs in 2050â€ organized by Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd. in the memory of the founder Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Late Dr. Y.S. Parmar here last evening.
Chief Minister said that the Vision Paper of the Central Electricity Authority has aimed at improvement of hydro share from existing 27 percent to 32 percent by the end of 12th Plan with likely installed capacity of 1,06,910 MW which included the capacity addition of 25,000 MW envisaged for 12th Plan period. He said that the Authority has identified over 400 hydro-electric projects in the country which would add capacity to hydel power potential of the country in a targeted manner.
Virbhadra Singh said that water was emerging as scarce commodity as a result of the challenge being posed by the global warming due to which the water-level in the rivers and traditional water bodies was drying up. He said that need had emerged for the experts and high professionals, the world over to ponder over the issue through extensive deliberations to find out workable solutions to meet the challenge successfully and ensure adequate water availability to the living beings.
Chief Minister said that his Government had been adopting open door policy with regard to allotment of hydro-electric projects to exploit the identified hydel potential to the optimum with ecological safeguards. He said that the interests of the State were being safeguarded as also of the people. He said that his Government would not allow exploitation of its hydel potential at the cost of environment which was the prime concern and would be safeguarded at all costs. He said that efforts were afoot to harness the available potential expeditiously.
He said that 412 MW Rampur Project would also be executed speedily on the same anology.
Chief Minister handed over the draft of Rs. 1.08 crore to the affected families to be disbursed by the Deputy Commissioner, Kinnaur to the 45 families of village Runni at the rate of Rs. 2.40 lakh per family who were earlier inhabiting in Kandhar village where houses were damaged due to project construction.
Delivering the keynote address, Dr. M.S. Reddy, former Secretary, Water Resources, Government of India, stressed upon the importance of water for sustainable development. He said that the country needed far support of estimated 1800 million population by the year 2050, 1310 billion cubic meters CBCMS of water to meet its water necessities. He emphasized the need for turning over operation and management to Water Users Associations to use water efficiently and increase irrigated area and its productivity under the participatory irrigation management measures. He said that by accounting for return flows from domestic and industry sectors and combination of efforts to increase only marginally irrigation efficiency area under food-grain crops and yields, the gap between utilizable resources and demand could be abridged easily. He added that in basin development of utilizable flows and replenishable ground water can meet the projected needs upto year 2050. He said that the static ground water was an emergency reserve and linking of rivers could be the last resort.
Dr. Reddy said that the country aggregates 4,000 BCM of water across the country with 1170 mm rainfall and contribution from snowmelts. Evaporation, transpiration, soil moisture and infiltration to underground water aquifies reduce the availability to 1869 BCM as measured and estimated basin-wise. He suggested application of UN norms to define water stress to individual basin in a multi-basin country like India. He said that considering the country as a whole, there will be no â€œDemand â€“Potential Gapâ€ upto 2050. He emphasized paradigm shift in investment priorities, water management and water governance.
H.K. Sharma, CMD, SJVNL said that 16,200 million units of hydel power generating revenue worth Rs. 4,300 crore had been achieved upto date by the corporation. He said that during current financial year, the total generation was likely to touch 6000 million units valued at about Rs. 1,500 crore with net annual profit of Rs. 650 crore. He said that 42 lakh fossil fuel (i.e. coal) was saved during current financial year besides entitlement to an annual carbon credit of Rs. 150 crore for reduced air pollution. He informed that raising of Nathpa Dam height and diversion of Bhaba Tail Race projects had been completed and handed over to Bhaba Project within the scheduled period of one month while 594 mtrs. long Kunni tunnel work was nearing completion.
Vijay Chopra, Executive Director, SJVNL said that SJVNL had been organizing Dr. Y.S. Parmar Memorial Lecture regularly as a tribute to the great visionary leader who laid the solid foundation of a powerful Himachal Pradesh.
D.S. Katoch, Director Personal, SJVNL said that the vision of founder Chief Minister, late Dr. Y.S. Parmar to make Himachal Pradesh, a power State was being realized with the exploitation of identified hydel potential.