Himachal Seeks Ownership Of Shanan Power Project

Shimla: Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has raised several issues related to the power sector with Union Power Minister R.K Singh during his recent visit to the state which included a time-bound transfer of Shanan Hydroelectric Project to Himachal Pradesh.

“I have apprised the Union Minister about all the issues related to ownership of the Shanan hydel project and also about its lease period which is expiring in March 2024” said the Chief Minster.

The Union Minister was apprised that the ownership rights of the Shanan project do not rest with the Punjab Government as it was only given on lease to the Punjab Government he said, adding that the Union Minister has assured to address all the issues in a time bound manner.

Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that keeping in view the interests of the State, the Union Government has also been requested to formulate a Scheme to develop infrastructure for facilitating hydropower projects of less than 25 MW capacity in Himachal Pradesh. As against this, the Union Minister has also assured to bring a scheme soon keeping in view the interests of the project developers.

The Chief Minister said that he took up various aspects related to free power sale with the Union Minister, on which he has assured to look into it sympathetically.

Union Power Minister RK Singh (Right), CM Sukhu (C) interacting with local stakeholders at Chitkul Kinnaur during a recent visit to Himachal Pradesh.

He said that the state government has taken up the issue of providing incentives to the Himachal Pradesh to enhance competitiveness for production of Green Hydrogen in the market, in analogy to Solar power. He apprised him that the state government is providing various incentives in order to promote the usage of Electric Vehicles in the state.

The Union Minister was also briefed that a target of 500 MW Solar power production in the state has been fixed for the year 2023-24.

The Chief Minister also informed the Union Minister that some projects made under Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) and Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) were debt-free which included the 1500 MW Nathpa-Jhakari project, Rampur, Bhakra Dam, Beas Satluj Link and Pong Dam projects.

Sukhu Demands Increase In Electricity Royalty In Debt Free Projects

The Chief Minister brought to the notice of the Union Energy Minister that at present state is getting free electricity at the rate of only 12 percent in Nathpa Jhakri project (1500 MW) and Rampur project (412 MW) operated by the SJVNL while SJVNL is getting benefit from these debt-free projects. He said that the contract period limit has also not been fixed in these projects.

It will be in the interest of the state that along with fixing the time period of 40 years in these projects like other projects, the rates of free electricity should also be increased.

He apprised Union Energy Minister about the issue of commencement of the construction work of Luhri Phase-I (210 MW), Dhaulasiddh (66 MW) and Sunni Dam (382 MW) by SJVNL without signing the implementation contract. He said that the company has not signed the contract even after repeated requests by the State Government and SJVNL is also reluctant to follow the provisions mentioned in the energy policy.

Himachal Not Getting Due Share In Legacy Hydropower Plants – Sukhu

The Chief Minister also informed that the State Government is not getting royalty of free electricity in the Bhakra Dam Project (1478 MW), Beas Satluj Link (990 MW) and Pong Dam Project (396 MW) operated by BBMB. The state government is being deprived of the revenue it deserves.

However, a provision has been made to give free electricity from all the projects to the State Government in the form of royalty in the energy policies of the Center and State Government. Only 7.19 percent power at the fixed rates is being provided as share to the State Government in these BBMB projects, which is not sufficient. Himachal Pradesh has full ownership of the land and water resources used in these projects and many families were displaced for the establishments of the projects. Therefore, like other projects, it would be justified to give free power in the form of royalty in these projects.

R.K. Singh assured to take appropriate action after seriously considering the issues raised by the Chief Minister.

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