Himachal Cabinet For New Power Policy

Shimla: Having made some amendments to the states power policy today, the Himachal cabinet has decided to revamp the old document and come out with a new policy even as it agreed to synchronize vacation schedules of winter and monsoon closing schools for having a uniform academic year.

Briefing the media, chief secretary Rajwant Sandhu said that with many changes having come about since the 2006 power policy was formulated, the cabinet agreed upon revising it after holding consultative discussions with power producers and other stake holders to come forth with a 2010 power policy.

The decision to have a new policy notwithstanding, the cabinet presided over by chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal amended the existing policy to withdraw the power of providing techno-economic clearance for projects involving investment upto Rs 500 crore from HP State Electricity Board, which would henceforth be dealt directly by the department of energy.

For optimum use of transmission lines to evacuate power, the cabinet amended the existing policy. As the government has prepared a draft master plan for having a single river basin transmission line for which a loan of $300 million was being availed from Asian Development Bank by HP Transmission Corporation, the policy amended was carried out to deter laying of multiple transmission lines, explained Deepak Sanan, power secretary who was also present.

Himachal schools to have uniform academic year

After taking changing climatic patterns into account, the cabinet approved adoption of a similar winter and monsoon holiday schedule in schools for having a uniform academic year.

Besides the high altitude district of Lahaul-Spiti, the other districts would have a winter break in January and a monsoon break in July-August. A week’s break for Diwali has been introduced in all districts except for Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti which would get a Dusshera break instead.

“Staring from 1st April, 2011, the academic year in all schools would close in March 2012 and all teachers who retire mid-term, would be re-employed on contract till closing of the session so that students education is not affected due to non-availability of teachers,” said Shrikant Baldi, secretary education who was present at the news briefing.

Bhakra Dam project affected problem to be finally settled

The cabinet agreed to change the definition of Bhakra Dam Outsees so as to settle 364 uprooted families because of the mega project and finally settle the problem of rehabilitation and resettlement of project affected families, almost 50 years after the project was commissioned, said the chief secretary.

The cabinet consented to create 32 posts of Professors, Associate Professors and Assistant Professors in Tanda Medical College for manning super speciality departments under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna to meet the requirements of Medical Council of India for starting the MD-MS courses, said Sandhu.

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  1. says: Anil Chandel

    Good and common sense initiatives by the Chief Secretary, Ms. Rajwant Sandhu! In addition, there is a greater need for out of the box thinking, while formulating new policies.

    I hope that a broader group including power industry professionals, consultants and even international power consultants is involved in formulating the new power policy for the state, and not just the power producers and stakeholders.

    The new policy should not just dwell on hydro-power, but also support renewable energy sources like solar, wind and thermal etc. Similar to Pico-level hydro-power projects, there should be support for projects leveraging renewable energy sources, at a similar or even smaller scale.

    In many countries of the world, even individual households can be power producers, as they install renewable energy systems for private consumption and also feed surplus power back into the grid, thereby getting credit for such power supplied, in their monthly electricity bills. (Search for Grid-Tie Power Systems on Google!).

    Bottomline, if new policies are being framed in the 21st century, then such policies should also leverage 21st century methods and technologies at the very least.

  2. says: Ajay

    Did you know Himachal Pradesh has one of the highest per capita incomes of any state in India. Due to the abundance of perennial rivers, Himachal also sells hydro electricity to other states such as Delhi, Punjab & Rajasthan.The economy of the state is highly dependent upon three sources i.e. Hydel power, tourism and agriculture.

    1. says: Anil Chandel

      And yet, Himachal doesn’t have a self sustaining economy and sound financials.

      Himachal is on the verge of a debt trap and struggles to control its budget deficit and begs for special aid packages from the center every 2-3 years.

      Just last month, Himachal CM requested another Rs 3000 Crore from the center. Although, half of which was to meet the enhanced pay and pension obligations due to the latest pay commission. Rest of it was requested as a Special Aid.

      Per capita income in Himachal may be one of the highest, but that is misleading too, because that is just an average, which is inadequate.

      A median income indicator would depict the income levels more accurately. It would show as to what most people in Himachal are making per year.

      1. says: Avnish Katoch


        Himachal is already under debt. And since many years. It’s growing every day. But politicians play hide and seek game. When required as per political compulsions they blame the other party and win elections.

        And when out of control during mid term they go and beg in New Delhi.

        What power policy? Has HP ever took the dues from Rajasthan and Punjab? Punjab govt still owns a power project inside HP.

        And both the parties show strength during elections bringing their Punjabi politician friends! We use to be amazed to see Sardar Beant Singh’s security and all the big cars during my teenage years.

        Heck we are just treated nomadic pahadis nothing else. There are and were good politicians likes Shanta Kumar who started ‘no work no pay’ policy but see what happened to him. And there are good officials but they are kept in Pangi, Kinnaur and Spiti.

        At the end of the day Himachal is at loss. No matter how strong anyone is!

        1. says: Rajneesh Sharma

          Mr. Avnish ,

          Himachal resources are used both by central govt. as well as neighboring states.

          There is no policy as such, only one policy seems working with political declarations — “Loot Policy” be it power projects or big contracts..corporate thugs and established business houses eat the major chunk..small enterprising people from our Himachal get only small pies from bigger cakes..and that too with lots of efforts..

          Regarding state capacity and status of Himachal people..its all because we have just four MP’s in central governance..who don’t make a difference or power negotiation at any cost..no one asks them..

          Even our own MP’s never even dare to speak or utter a word in parliament.. Just keep sitting like dumb idols in parliament… never even raise voices against Himachal issues…I have not seen or remember a single incident of walkout in history of Parliament for Himachal issues..

          All MP’s are mostly busy with flattery of senior party leaders for ensuring tickets in elections in next elections ..this is is their main motto..nothing else.

          Regarding Mr. Shanta…his policies were too good and practical..but the implementation part was little harsh….Indian system is so much rotten..whosoever will try to change immediately will get lost in public fury..

          had been it implemented with political considerations or winning faith of public first..slowly ..gradually..it would have been impossible to remove Mr. Shanta from power after 5 years of rule…

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