Open Hydel Policy to be introduced in Himachal

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Saturday said that the state government will introduce an Open Hydro Policy to facilitate power producers. While presiding over the meeting with the Association of Independent Power Producers (IPPs), Chief Minister Sukhu also assured the government’s full support to make their projects economically viable by removing all hindrances.
“The State government would provide handholding in getting all clearances to set up their power projects. If any gram Panchayat does not provide a No Objection Certificate (NOC) in a stipulated period, it would be considered deemed to be sanctioned. State Government would also bring Open Hydro Policy to facilitate the power producers,” he said. “Besides tourism, the Hydel sector was the main resource of revenue for the State exchequer. We have enacted Water Cess Act to strengthen the economy of the State,” he added. Sukhu also sought a self-proposal from the IPPs on the quantum of water cess to implement the Act and said that the government would sympathetically consider their proposal.
“On the demand of IPPs, the Chief Minister directed the HPPTCL to expedite the laying of power transmission lines in order to evacuate the power supply from generation sites well in time so that they may not have to face the financial losses,” an official statement read. The Chief Minister also said that State Government would consider their demand positively for the calculation of power tariffs from the date of commercial operation rather than from the date of the Power Purchase Agreement for 41 power projects. The State Government will also issue an advisory to the Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission to consider royalty on an actual basis of 12, 18, and 30 per cent.
According to Sukhu, 111 mini and micro power projects were contributing Rs 223.60 crore as annual revenue to the State exchequer and there is potential for 3539 MW of power through IPPs out of which only 754 MW has been harnessed
so far.

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