Published On:December 15 2007
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Uttarakhand woos hydel power firms

Dehradun: Amid claims that small hydel projects will be the main focus of the new revised power policy, the Uttarakhand government is working to finalise the process of bidding from the private and government sectors for the construction of 30-40 big hydel projects, which can attract investments of Rs 30,000-40,000 crore to the state.

“We are finalising the bid proposals for 30-40 big hydel projects,” a top government official said. But the official made it clear that all these projects would be “subject to verification.”

The projects include 485-Mw Tapovan Chunar and 225-Mw Khal Tavaghat in Pithoragarh district.

Besides this, 190-Mw Neelong on the river Jat Ganga in Uttarkashi district can also go for bidding.

The total capacity of these projects would be 5,000-6000 Mw and the bidding process is expected to start early next year, the officials said.

The bidding of the new projects comes close on the heels of the revision of the power policy, which is also expected to be released in two to three months.

In the new allotments, the bidding process will be to ensure that the government gets the maximum premium.

Under the new policy, the government is claiming that it would focus on small hydel projects and try to safeguard the interests of local people by offering them some stakes or full shares in the new ventures. To start with, at least 5 per cent equity in the project is being proposed in small projects. In some ventures, the government can offer know-how to the village communities who can themselves build dams by raising equity through loans.

As scores of industries have set up new units in the state to get tax benefits, the government would also encourage them to go for captive power generation.

Currently, Uttarakhand needs 15.5 million units of power daily whereas the power production in the state stands only at 5 million units.

To meet the gap, Uttarakhand is taking 6.5 million units of power from the central pool. Besides, 2 million units are being overdrawn. Apart from this, the state is also taking back one million unit which it had banked in Punjab and Haryana. But in spite of all this, there is still a deficiency of 2-3 million units of power, officials said.

Uttarakhand has identified 20,000 Mw of hydel power. Nearly 400 projects in this regard have already been proposed.

Till now, Uttarakhand is generating only 2,819 Mw of power. At present, different projects with the capacity of generating 11,480 Mw of power are at various stages of construction.

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