15 Apr 2012

Hydro-Power Projects in the state at Uttarakhand

Dehradun/ Delhi. April 15:
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna held meeting with the MPs from Uttarakhand and representatives of various political parties and discussed issues relating to Hydro-Power Projects in the state at Uttarakhand Niwas on Sunday. A unanimous view was expressed in the meeting that state ought to take its own decision in the matters concerned to Hydro-power projects like requirements of power, local development, employment and environment security etc. Emphasis was laid on the need of a Commission with the representation of public representatives, scientists and experts of various institutions.
Chief Minister Bahuguna said that stopping of hydro-power projects started after receiving environment and other technical approval, just due to said public sentiments, was not justified. He said that experts could take decision on how much water to be discharged as per the public requirement and how to maintain the flow of river. CM said in future a state level policy had to be chalked out for power projects in the state. He revealed that state has a potential of 27,000 MW hydro-power out of which only 3600 MW power was being produced. Despite having enormous potential the state was depended on external resources for power. He said that power production could be interrupted during religious occasions but just for the sentimental reasons water projects could not be shelved forever. Looking into the global warming, hydro-projects are the best option for safety of environment, he said. Chief Minister Bahuguna said that as far as Hydro-power projects were concerned, the Centre should prepare policy not only for Uttarakhand but a universal policy for all the Himalayan States.  He said that a fix percentage should be given to the respective states for development of the area where projects are constructed and for the investment for generating employment for local people.
Former Chief Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Bhagat Singh Koshyari said that except for developing Uttarakhand into 'Urja Pradesh' there was no other alternative for the development of the state without denting public sentiments. It could be discussed that no power projects were constructed from Uttarkashi to Gomukh. If there would be complete rehabilitation of displaced people there would not be any public protest against the projects.
Lok Sabha MP Pradeep Tamta stressed on drafting long term policy on hydro-power projects taking in consideration the water preservation. He said that small hydro-power projects be given more importance. MP KC Singh Baba, meanwhile, said that views from scientists and experts working in Uttarakhand be taken in hydro-power projects. The meeting was attended by UKD leader Virendra Uniyal, Bhuvan Pathak, Cabinet Minister Yashpal Arya, former Opposition Leader Harak Singh Rawat, Congress leader Hira Singh Bisht, Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar and Secretary Energy Dr. SS Sandhu.

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