14 new hydel power projects to come up

Staff Correspondent

PANTNAGAR: Uttaranchal took a major step forward towards becoming a power surplus State on Monday with the signing of Implementation Agreements for 14 hydroelectric projects expected to produce over 2,400 MW of power with Central public sector power undertakings.

Presiding over the ceremony, Chief Minister Narayan Dutt Tiwari noted that Uttaranchal had an immense hydropower potential which should be tapped to ensure local and national prosperity.

"Ninety-two per cent of the villages have been electrified and the rest would get power supply by the end of 2007," he said, calling for liberal private sector investments in the State which had an excellent industrial climate.

State Parliamentary Affairs and PWD Minister Indira Hirdeyesh said Uttaranchal was developing into a promising destination for investments as all-out efforts were on to provide world-class connectivity along with the basic infrastructure and tax rebates.

State Chief Secretary M. Ramachandran hoped that the implementing agencies - the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, Tehri Hydro Development Corporation, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam, NTPC Hydro Ltd, and NTPC Ltd -- would work overtime to ensure time-bound high quality construction and operation of the projects.

The State would be producing an additional 1,984 MW of power with the completion of the Dhauliganga Tehri First Phase, Maneri Bhali Second Phase and Vishnuprayag projects by the end of 2006, he said.

The Government had also decided to tap hydropower without constructing big dams in future to avoid mass scale displacement of people, Mr. Ramachadran said.