Himachal Pradesh government has chalked out an innovative ambitious action plan for speedy exploitation of vast hydro power potential available in the State. The State has 27436 MW indentified hydro power potential out of which 10351 MW has already been exploited with the active participation of different reputed agencies working in the field.The State Government has already taken major decisions towards easing out the policy provisions to facilitate investors to overcome the bottlenecks being faced in implementation of projects. A new mechanism has been evolved to obtain various clearances at district level in a time bound manner. The developers have been facilitated to submit their applications to the concerned Deputy Commissioners instead of applying to various district level offices for obtaining different clearances.
Keeping in view the emergent need for ensuring safety and quality control in hydro power projects, the State Government has created a safety and quality control authority under the aegis of Directorate of Energy. Mandatory procedural guidelines for dam safety and operational procedures have been enforced with specific codes and standards practices being followed worldwide.
Mandatory inspections of operational projects have been ensured and flood safety measures have also been regulated to avoid any mishap during monsoon. A monitoring unit has also been established to look after the progress of projects and also to assess the milestones achieved by the project developers.The State government has also simplified the procedure for obtaining techno-clearance and the Directorate of Energy has been authorized to lay down procedure and issuance of technical concurrence to the projects comprising of the cost less than Rs. 1000 crore. So far at least 167 projects of about 700 MW capacity have been accorded technical concurrence during last four years. About 31 hydro power projects aggregating to 2067 MW capacity have also been commissioned during this period. 800 MW Koldam, 412 MW Rampur, 130 MW Kashang 10 MW Ghanvi on Satluj, 520 MW Parbati-III on Beas and 36 MW Chanju on Ravi are some important new projects commissioned by different agencies during the present tenure of the State Governememnt. NTPC, NHPC, SJVNL, HPPCL and HPSEB Ltd. are leading agencies actively involved in this venture.H.P. State Electricity Board has taken initiated to execute at least 22 eco-friendly projects, having 300 MW capacity, with a view to protect fragile environment on one hand and speedy exploitation of potential of the State as well locations for the projects have been identified particularly on Beas, Ravi and Pabbar basins.
To start with 18 MW project will be executed at Raisan in Kullu district on pilot basis. World Bank has already accorded its consent to provide funds for the same.The State Electricity Board has already commissioned about 22 hydel projects having 487.45 MW capacity and 100 MW Uhl-II project has been almost completed for which trial run will be done soon. State Government has also entrusted the work of four more projects-Devi Kothi, (16 MW), Sai Kothi-I (15 MW), Sai Kothi-II (16.50 MW) and Hael (18 MW) in Chamba district to the State Electricity Board keeping in view its competency and expertise available with the organization.The State Government has taken various steps for proper rehabilitation of the project affected families and a provision for generation of revenue out of sale of 1 % additional free power payable after commissioning of the projects has been made so that the revenue generated could be directly transferred to the project affected families. The state government has successfully implemented this scheme, first of its kind in the country. So far, about Rs. 6.74 crore has been transferred to the eligible families since 2012-13. The State government is also providing 100 unit free electricity as incentive to project affected families.The State Government has realized revenue of Rs. 3345 crore by way of sale of free and equity power during this tennure and efforts are being made to involve global players in this field so that the identified hydel potential could be exploited in a time bound manner. The days are not far when Himachal Pradesh alone would have the capacity to fulfill the growing energy needs of the people and the State emerges as ' Power State' of the country.