Himachal small hydro projects to get speedy clearances

hydroShimla:  Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Saturday said a high powered committee would soon be set up for ensuring speedy statutory clearances by various departments to the executors of the small hydropower projects in the state.

The committee, headed by the chairman of the state electricity regulatory commission, would look into the problems of developers and suggest recommendations to simplify the procedures of granting clearances, he said.

Speaking at a meeting organized by the Bonafide Hydro Power Developers Association in collaboration with HIMURJA and the new and renewable energy ministry here, the chief minister said his government would facilitate all independent power producers (IPP) and would take all necessary steps to harness power potential expeditiously.

The chief minister said the committee would grant clearances within a specific period and the officers concerned would be held responsible for any delay and laxity.

He asked the promoters to take care of social responsibilities and be considerate towards the genuine demands of local people.

Private promoter SAI Engineering Foundation’s CEO Raj Kumar Verma said 475 small projects of 1,215 MW were allotted for execution between 1995 and 96, out of which only 59 projects having aggregate 225 MW capacity have been commissioned so far.

On an average about three projects of 12 MW are completed per year and it would take more than 100 years to complete the allotted potential at this rate, he noted.

Verma requested the chief minister to take appropriate action to remove the hurdles in order to expedite the commissioning of projects.

Power Minister Sujan Singh Pathania said the state electricity board would help the small hydro projects to sell the power in the open market.

The state has a hydropower potential of 27,436 MW, but currently only generates 8,418 MW through mega and small projects.

In this fiscal, the state is aiming to add another 2,000 MW generation capacity with the commissioning of around 30 new hydropower plants either by the central government, private players or joint venture companies.


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