Himachal Seeks World Bank Assistance For Scaling Up Power Generation Operations

Shimla: Forging a long term partnership with Himachal Pradesh, the World Bank is to scale up support for its hydro power generation program by providing assistance to integrated management of catchment areas, river basin planning, development and management.

At a high level meet here, today, with Salman Zahir – World Bank energy development manager, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said that the state was keen to associate the bank with its hydro power generation activities.

Other than being involved in infrastructure projects, the government was keen to explore opportunities in power transmission, environment protection and urban transportation systems, said Dhumal. Increased vehicular traffic was choking major towns, he added.

Funding for major road projects for improving connectivity in the hill state was already being done by the World Bank.

With assistance form the World Bank the state was preparing a master plan for sustainable development in order to protect the environment, he disclosed.

The government was concerned about the degradation of environment due to industrialization, increasing number of vehicles and other anti-environmental activities, he said.

The government was discouraging polluting industries by bracketing them in the negative and were not welcome to the set up their units in the state. To reverse environmental damages around hydropower project, the government was monitoring Catchment Area Treatment (CAT) plan, said Dhumal.

The government had carved out a separate directorate of energy that would oversee all generation activities as well as monitor the environmental aspect.

Seeking the banks participation in strengthening the power transmission network, the chief minister informed that a separate transmission corporation has been constituted for evacuating the generated power in the state.

Kishan Kapoor, transport and urban development minister who was present in the meet sought the banks assistance in putting up better civic amenities infrastructure, especially in the industrial and old townships.

Salman Zahir, the World Bank official said that the bank would be extending support for development of the state’s capacities and institutions so that its is able to fully utilize the available hydro power potential and make it a leading generating state in the region.

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