• Over 30 hydel power projects left in limbo

    More than 30 hydel power projects with an envisaged capacity of almost 10,500 megawatts have been held up due to agitations by local communities fearing dislocation and ecological damage and lack of funds. Preliminary surveys could not be carried out in some areas due to resistance by residents.

    “These projects have not been shelved and are very much on the priority list. The government is trying to evolve ways and means to make sure that the projects turn into reality,” said Central Electricity Authority, chairman SD Dubey. “The Centre along with local authorities is trying to persuade locals so that these projects can be taken up. For the ones that have faced financial crunch, the government is trying to solve issues faced by the project developers.” An example is the Lower Subansree project in Arunachal Project that’s now adequately funded following government intervention.

    A similar move by the central and state governments will ensure that finances won’t be a hurdle for the 1,200 MW Teesta III project in West Bengal. The 1000 MW Naba project in Arunachal Pradesh has been held up. The project site is in a remote area and local law and order is seen as a problem. The 815 MW Tamak Lata project in Uttarakhand has run into legal hurdles and is now in the Supreme Court.

    The 800 MW project in Arunachal’s Niare project is also located in a remote area and facing protests. The 10,500 MW in question is part of the government’s plan to set up a total hydel generation base of 50,000 MW in the country. Hydel power is cheaper than either solar or thermal energy but the impact of flooding vast areas is being questioned by the people who will be worst hit. Calvin Ridley Womens Jersey

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