While presiding over a meeting of the Energy Department here late last evening, Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that the State Government mulls to frame a new Energy Policy, aiming at providing more share to Himachal Pradesh in various hydropower projects.
The Chief Minister said that under the new policy, the provision of deferment of free power royalty will be completely abolished in future and consider abolishing the relaxation given earlier. He said that there would be a provision to give 15 per cent share to the state government for the first 12 years, 20 per cent for the next 18 years and 30 per cent for the next 10 years. So far, there is a provision of 12 percent for the first 12 years, 18 percent for the next 18 years and 30 percent for the next 10 years, he added.
“Efforts would be made to increase the State’s share in those projects which have recovered its cost, for which correspondence would be initiated with the Central Government and other PSUs,” said Sh. Sukhu and adding that for all upcoming hydel power projects, the land would be given for forty years lease as per the policy of the government.
The Chief Minister took a serious note of central PSUs for not signing pre-implementation and implementation agreements to set up hydro power projects and directed the Energy department to issue notices. Apart from this, he also directed to simplify the process of providing NOCs for the construction of hydro power projects.
Sh. Sukhu said that 172 hydropower projects of 11149.50 MW capacity have been commissioned in the State, while 58 projects of 2454 MW capacity were under construction. He said that there should not be unnecessary delay in the hydro power projects being constructed through various Undertakings of the State Government and the Energy Department should develop a mechanism to monitor them. He said that delay in construction of projects causes financial loss to the State coffers. The Directorate of Energy would be strengthened and artificial intelligence would also be used to improve the functioning of the department, he added.
The Chief Minister said that many hydro power projects have not started construction work despite taking one time amnesty, in such a situation, the allotment of these projects should be cancelled immediately and a fresh advertisement should be published. He emphasized that power generation was the main source of income for the State Government and would not be compromised by any loss to the State exchequer.
The Chief Minister also reviewed the construction of solar projects being set-up in the State and directed to speed up the construction work. He said that the State Government has set a target of starting 500 MW solar power projects this year and the department should work earnestly in this direction.
Industries Minister, Harshwardhan Chauhan, Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister, Ram Subhag Singh, Chief Secretary, Prabodh Saxena, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Bharat Khera, Secretary MPP & Power, Rajeev Sharma, OSD to the Chief Minister, Gopal Sharma, Director Energy Department, Harikesh Meena and other senior officers were present in the meeting amongst others.