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HP demands royalty on power generated by river water

Statesman News Service | Shimla |

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Tuesday urged Union government for providing royalty to Himachal Pradesh on the water for the power produced on the rivers flowing through the state as was being given to the other states for other natural resources.

Addressing the Conference of Power and New Renewable Energy Ministers of States and UTs here, he said although major power projects such as Bhakra Dam and Pong Dam were situated on the land of HP.

But it was unfortunate that the state has been deprived of its legitimate share from these projects as compensation.

“Large number of people of the state were displaced due to these projects and are still waiting for rehabilitation,” he said, adding HP has also been deprived of its share from Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) projects.

Thakur said HP has the distinction of being first state of the country to have achieved the target of cent percent rural electrification way back in 1988.

“Himachal also have distinction in providing electricity to the highest village of the world, Kaumik that is situated at an altitude of 15,124 feet above sea level,” he said.

Thakur said the state was endeavouring to construct mini and micro power projects in far flung and rural areas to provide uninterrupted power to the people besides ensuring socio-economic upliftment of these areas.

He urged the Union government to provide Special Grant and liberal financial assistance for these endeavours of the government.

Out of the total about 27,000 MW power potential available in the state, only 10,547 MW has been harnessed till date. The main reason of this has been the limited resources available with the state.

Thakur said Himachal has been ranked third in implementation of UDAY Scheme of the Union government throughout the country.

Keeping in view the difficult topographical conditions, he urged the Union Power Minister RK Singh to increase the time period of IPDS and Deen Dayal Upadhaya Gram Jyoti Yojana for another one year so that maximum number of people of the state could ripe the benefits of these schemes.

Thakur said the state was only producing environment-friendly power and complete ban has been imposed on Thermal Power Houses.

“The government is now contemplating to develop “Hydro Tourism” by including Hydro Power sector with tourism so that both these sectors could be fully harnessed to strengthen the economy,” he said. He urged the Union Power Minister to direct the Central and Joint Sector Undertakings and BBMB to insure their participation in this initiative.