Himachal Pradesh cancels allotment of seven mini hydropower projects

January 28th, 2009 - 7:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Jan 28 (IANS) Acting tough against errant private power producers, the Himachal Pradesh government has cancelled allotment of seven mini hydropower projects, an official said Wednesday.”The government has cancelled the allotment of seven micro hydropower projects allotted across the state. Some of the projects were allotted eight years ago,” the official, who was associated with the projects allocation, said on condition of anonymity.

The private players have failed to start the construction work of their respective projects within the prescribed time frame, he added.

The official said the projects were located in Shimla, Mandi and Kangra districts. He said the decision to cancel the allotment was taken by the state cabinet at its meeting Tuesday.

Now, the government will re-invite bids for these projects.

The cancelled projects are Machhad-I (3 MW), Machhad-II (2 MW) and Koot (5 MW) in Shimla district; Anu (2 MW), Chennari (3 MW) and Bakhli (4.5 MW) in Mandi district; and Moujhi-III (2.5 MW) in Kangra district.

Sources in the the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board said most of the projects, except Machhad-I, Machhad-II and Bakhli, were not viable and profitable. The average cost of a project is Rs.70 billion (Rs.7 crore) per megawatt.

While Machhad-I and Machhad-II are located on a tributary of the Sutlej, Bakhli is on a Beas tributary.

Under the state’s amended power policy, the bidder who offers more free power to the state in addition to the fixed quota is allotted projects.

The fixed quota is 12 percent free power for the first 12 years, 18 percent for up to 30 years, and 30 percent for up to 40 years. After 40 years, the project will be handed over to the government.

The state government is encouraging local entrepreneurs to take up projects with 2 to 5 MW generation capacity. The government has allotted projects above 5 MW through open bidding.

Himachal Pradesh has so far harnessed 6,370 MW of hydropower, nearly one-third of its potential, and it is in the process of adding 5,744 MW capacity by the end of the 11th plan period.

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