Four-years on the hydro power policy still hangs in balance in want of consensus among the various union ministries.
Power Minister RK Singh who was here at Kufri near Shimla for the Conference of power and new and Renewable Energy Ministers of states and Union Territories talking to media person on Tuesday said that the hydro policy is in final stages and will soon be sent to the cabinet for approval.
Acceding to the fact that the hydro power has become expensive owing to numerous reasons that has stalled hydro projects he said that the Himachal Pradesh government had written to the ministry concerned about it and also Uttarakhand is serious about it.
“Hydro power is occupying us and we are making efforts to make it viable. The ministry is cognizant of the various problems and for the past some time we have drafted a hydro power policy where we are proposing a number of things that include it should come as part of Renewable Power Obligation (RPO), 12 per cent free power it should not apply straightway, but only apply after six or 10 years so that by the time the part of the loan will be repaid, the hydro power depreciation period of the hydro power plant should be longer to reduce the tariff,” he said.
HP government has given some ideas about environmental clearance that is another factor stalling projects and we think they are good and we will be adding them to the hydro power policy, he added.
Replying to the question of coal shortage in the country, he said that their ministry is taking various steps that include being in regular touch with the Ministry of Coal, more mines have started for which forest clearances are needed for which we are pushing with the Ministry of Environment to give the clearance quickly, adding to freight corridors .
Replying to question on the Himachal’s share in Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), he said that that Himachal has been taking up the issue for quite some time and there is need to bring about amendment in the law, which some of the member states are against.