Himachal Pradesh moots single window clearance for hydro projects


Shimla : Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal wants to set up a single-window clearance system for speedy sanctions of small hydropower projects in the state.

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“To speed up the allotment process for small hydropower projects, we are planning to set up a single-window clearance system on the pattern of industry,” Dhumal said at the inauguration of the five MW Tosh mini-hydro project in Kullu district Sunday.

“The state government allotted 80 small hydro projects with a generation capacity of 190 MW in Kullu district this year,” he said.

These days, the hydropower generation in the state has dipped by around 30 percent after several water channels froze at high altitudes.

“During the past three years, the demand during the winter months (November to March) has increased from 2.8 billion units to five billion units,” an official of the state electricity board said.

“Now, the total availability from the central government pool, the state’s share in various projects and own generation will be around three billion units. This means the state is daily facing a shortage of two billion units during the winter months,” the official added.

In 2006, the state government approved a hydropower policy that aims to make Himachal Pradesh the “hydropower state” of India. The government has allotted hundreds of micro and major hydro projects after that.

Local entrepreneurs are being encouraged to take up projects having 2-5 MW generation capacity. The government has allotted projects above five MW through open bidding.

The Asian Development Bank last month announced $800-million loan for the hill state for setting up hydro projects that will add 808 MW generation capacity.