Govt. according top priority to hydropower sector: Virbhader Singh

Sep 02, 2017 20:54 | Poltics
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Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh said the state government is extending top priority for expeditious exploitation of the hydro power potential which is very important resource for economic development of the State.

He was presiding over a seminar organized jointly by Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd. and the Forum of the Hydro Power Producers and
other stakeholders in various river basins of the state, here today. He termed it as an imperative initiative to deliberate on the important issue of hydro power sector development and required policy changes in the hydro power policy to harness the potential of the state as early as possible.

The Chief Minister said power sector is critical to the development of

the economy as development in all other sectors depends largely on the availability of power. The Himachal Government is fully aware of this fact and is according top priority to the hydro power sector and it will ensure development in the remotest parts and act as major resource for revenue of the State.

He said though the hydro power sector has witnessed declining trends
in past few years, but there is no need for worry as every sector passes through such phases. He assured Himachal government would provide every possible assistance to give boost to this vital sector, which is also a major source of the economy. He said Himachal Pradesh has the distinction of providing reliable and quality supply to all consumers in the State where hundred percent revenue villages were electrified long ago. Not only this, the consumers in the State enjoy one of the lowest tariffs in the country, he added.

Virbhadra Singh said the priority of the government is to
expeditiously harness balance potential in a manner that optimizes returns to the State. With a view to achieve this, the process of involving both the central government PSUs and the private sector in a big way in hydro power development has been initiated. He underlined that while executing hydroelectric projects there is a need to assess key issues and requirements to meet the needs of sustainability, environmentally appropriate developments as well as adaptation towards addressing vulnerabilities from climate change.

The Chief Minister said to embark upon ambitious programme in the hydel generation the state government in 2006 formulated its own hydro
power policy in 2006. This was formulated with a view to maintain a delicate balance to safeguard the interest of the people and to maintain a delicate ecology and environmental safeguards.

Additional Chief Secretary Shri Tarun Shridhar said the state government has set up a committee to take effective measures for revival of the
hydro power sector. The government has also offered a number of incentives to facilitate the power producers. He however urged the power producers to provide support to the government for revival of this sector.

Former Chairman Central Water Commission Shri A.B. Pandya in his key noteaddress stressed that central and state governments needs to seriously
look at the issues of delay in clearances which is a major concern. He said sound planning and investigation is another important aspect for starting projects besides ensuring transparency in allotment.

He said a strong policy is needed which is capable of articulating the
benefits of hydro power for which the concerned community should also
raise voice. He added active support from public should be sought because it is the public, which will be ultimately benefited out of it.