Himachal Pradesh Winter Session: Govt to amend energy policy

The move is aimed at making Himachal Pradesh self-reliant, says Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu

Himachal Pradesh Winter Session: Govt to amend energy policy

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has said that the government will change the energy policy to make Himachal self-reliant.

“Besides, bringing about changes in the energy policy, the state government also aims to harness 500 MW of solar energy by December next year,” he added.

“In winter, Himachal Pradesh buys electricity from neighbouring states at expensive rates. By achieving the set target of solar energy production, the government will save Rs 1,000 crore annually on electricity purchase,” said that Chief Minister while replying to the discussion on the motion moved by Congress member Chaitanya Sharma in the House to discuss the renewable energy approach for the secure future of Himachal Pradesh on the first day of the winter session being held at Tapovan at Dharamshala in district Kangra.


In the next four months, the state’s largest solar power plant of 32 MW will be established in Pekhuwala, he said, adding that the government aims to make the state a green energy state by 2026.

“To achieve this target, solar energy is being increasingly exploited. The state government is also giving 50 percent subsidy on the purchase of electric vehicles,” he said, adding that under the Rajiv Gandhi Startup Scheme, 50 percent subsidy will be given to the youth to buy e-taxi.

So far 582 youth have applied to buy vehicles under the scheme, he informed the House.

He further said that the government is also moving towards exploitation of phosphorus energy.

Accusing the BJP of ignoring the interests of the state, he said, “The BJP government gave Luhri-Sunni and Dhaula Siddh projects to SJVN on easy terms. But now the government will either withdraw these projects or hand them over to SJVN on its own terms.”

He blamed the Central Government for creating hurdles in the recovery of water cess in Himachal Pradesh imposed by the state government.

“The state BJP leaders should take up the issue with their central government,” he said.

The opposition members irked by the Chief Minister’s remarks on the Central government stood up in defence. Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur said that the Chief Minister is making wrong statements in the House on the issue of water cess.

“Even in Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir, water cess is not being collected from central equipment. The letter from the Central Government is for all the states, not just for Himachal Pradesh,” said Jai Ram Thakur.

Earlier, Congress member Chaitanya Sharma, raising the matter under Rule 63, said that the vision presented by the Chief Minister to make Himachal Pradesh a green state and promote renewable energy has led to the promotion of electric vehicles on ground.

He said that the Sukhu government is an action-oriented government and the e-taxi scheme launched for the unemployed is proof of this.

“We are discussing renewable energy because we are not able to properly exploit energy production. When the state has immense potential for hydroelectric power generation, then why is there any need for discussion of energy generation from other sources,” questioned BJP member Dr Hansraj.

The government is talking about solar energy, but this entails many problems as well, said Hans Raj seeking to know how its waste will be disposed of after 20 years.

More hydroelectric power can be produced by setting up small projects of two and four megawatts, he added.

MLA Hoshiyar Singh stressed on completely stopping the export of wood from the state and using it as biomass in the state.

He also expressed the need to exploit geo-thermal, biogas and wind power on a large scale in the state.

MLA Trilok Jamwal opposed the cancellation of 800 MW power projects by the government and said that it is wrong to impose water cess on those who had signed MoUs for these projects years ago.

He said that as long as there is an atmosphere of uncertainty in the state, no one will want to invest in the state.