Jaypee Hydropower told to move power line in Himachal to save forest

January 14th, 2009 - 5:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Jan 14 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh has asked hydropower major Jaypee Karacham Hydropower to relocate its transmission lines in the state to avoid felling of trees, Forest Minister J.P. Nadda said here Wednesday.It has also rejected the application of another hydropower firm, Allain-Duhangan Hydro Ltd, to clear forest land to execute a 192 MW project in Kullu district.

“It (Jaypee) has been told to lay the transmission lines on the right bank of the Sutlej river instead of the left bank. The right bank does not have any forest cover or major habitation. More than 22,000 trees will be saved,” Nadda told IANS.

Jaypee is setting up a 1,000 MW project in Kinnaur district.

Nadda said no independent transmission line would be sanctioned to any power company. “All power companies located in same river basin have been asked to use only one power corridor for the distribution of power. This will avoid multiplicity of lines.”

Jaypee’s transmission line will be used by all other hydropower companies located in the Sutlej basin, the minister added.

The forest department has also rejected Allain-Duhangan Hydro’s application to clear forest in Kullu district.

“Now, Allain-Duhangan has agreed to build a common corridor, which could be used by other companies too,” Nadda said.

A forest cover of 78 sq km is estimated to have been gobbled up in Himachal Pradesh because of development activities, primarily hydropower projects. “Haphazard felling of trees will not be tolerated in future for power transmission,” the minister said.

Himachal Pradesh has a huge potential for generating 21,000 MW hydropower, of which only one-third has been exploited so far. It plans to tap about 12,000 MW by the 2012.

The government has allotted hundreds of micro and run-of-river hydro projects. Local entrepreneurs are being encouraged to take up small projects of between 2 MW and 5 MW generation capacity, while projects above 5 MW have been allotted through open bidding.

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