Public and private sector companies in Himachal Pradesh have harnessed 8,824 megawatts (MW) of hydropower, an official said on Monday, adding that the figure was 38% of the estimated potential of 23,000 MWs that can be generated through hydel projects in the state.
He said that in the four-and-a-half year tenure of the state BJP government, hydropower projects of 2,431 MW had been set up. Last year, the state allotted 17 projects of 1,325 MW through competitive bidding. In the last budget session, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said projects with a combined capacity of 12,798 MW were in various stages of commissioning.
"All these projects are likely to be commissioned by the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2017-22). On completion, the state will get power of 16,270 million units every year," Dhumal said. The government is encouraging local entrepreneurs to take up projects with 2-5 MW capacity and has allotted projects above 5 MW through open bidding.
It recently allowed 26% dilution of shares by an allottee belonging to the state for up to 2 MW capacity and 49% for 2-5 MW projects to non-Himachalis at any stage. "This helps local entrepreneurs raise funds for expeditious development of projects," an official said.
In his budget speech, Dhumal said to link the inter-state transmission corridor for Ravi, Beas, lower Sutlej and Yamuna basins, the government had succeeded in securing a loan of Rs.1,600 crore from the Asian Development Bank for Himachal Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Limited.