Himachal Pradesh will explore the possibility of creating a hydropower fund for the benefit of small, mini and micro hydropower producers in the state, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said in Shimla on Wednesday.
"The government is planning to create a hydropower fund to assist the small, mini and micro hydropower producers," he said at a seminar organised by Himurja (state energy development agency) and the Himalaya Power Producers Association.
The government is promoting mini and micro hydropower projects in the state as these are environment-friendly and help the local people meet their power requirements, Dhumal said.
"The government has set up a state-level single window clearances and monitoring committee to ensure early and timely clearance of proposals," he said.
The government has approved 311 mini-hydroelectric power projects with a combined generation capacity of 608 MW since December 2007.
Out of these, 273 projects have been allotted to those who are natives of the state, 19 to the Himurja and 19 to those living outside the state.
Himachal Pradesh has abundant water resources, with five major rivers flowing down the slopes of the Himalayas. Its power generation potential is 20,416 MW, about 25 per cent of India's total hydropower potential.
Of this, around 6,500 MW has been developed.