Joy for now
An offer of Rs 700 crore as aid by a consortium of Uzbek, Russian and Swedish companies has evoked jubilation among employees of the Tehri Hydroelectric Development Corporation (THDC), which is responsible for building the Tehri dam.
The offer is a lifeline for THDC, which is desperately trying to raise resources for the powerhouse. According to the terms of the project, the state and Central governments will finance construction of the dam and the spillway, leaving power generation systems to the corporation.
An earlier offer by a Russian-Uzbek consortium was rejected in April by the Union government. But now, says THDC spokesperson V B Gupta, "We find the offer satisfactory because it will cover the entire cost of the powerhouse equipment and the repayment can be done by exporting goods from India."
One question that remains unanswered is whether the Union government will consider this "lucrative package" before the cabinet clears the Tehri project. Money for the powerhouse is obviously useless until the cabinet sanctions the project and the Centre releases funds for the dam. But then, is THDC's optimism an indication that cabinet clearance for the project is no longer in doubt?