Members of India’s Ministry of Power’s Consultative Committee have spoken in a meeting to encourage speedier implementation of hydro projects in the country.
Criticism was raised about the time taken over Indian hydro projects, from the detailed project report to the implementation stage, along with frequent undue delays.
Some members pointed out that the country was lagging behind in hydro power development and must take urgent steps and catch up with more advanced nations.
While addressing the First Consultative Committee meeting after assumption of charge, Union Minister of Power Shri Sushilkumar Shinde stated that the government has allocated high priority for the development of hydro projects in India, and has taken several steps towards achieving this, including attracting private investment. Several incentives have been incorporated in the tariff notification issued by the government for hydro schemes, such as rewards for better availability, generation of secondary energy, measures for mitigating hydrological risks during initial years of operation and so on.
The Minister pointed out that hydro development has experienced a steady rise from 508MW in 1947 to 32,135MW now, which indicates a growth of about 63x in a period of over five decades. He stated that a capacity of 5380MW has already been added in the 10th Plan so far (excluding projects below 25MW), and said that he was confident of adding about 10,000MW of capacity from hydro projects before the end of the plan, which would be the highest ever capacity addition from the hydro sector in any Five Year Plan.
Members who attended the meeting included Dhani Ram Shandil; Shri S.K. Kaarvendhan; Shri Ramesh Bais; Neeta Pateriya; and Shri Abdul Rashid Shaheen (all from Lok Sabha).
Also present were Shri Harish Rawat; Shri Kripal Parmar; Shri Bashistha Narain Singh; and Shri Dipankar Mukherjee (all from Rajya Sabha). Shri Basudeb Acharia attended the meeting as a permanent special invitee.