Sudden surge

Finally, hydro power is getting the importance that it deserves in Himachal Pradesh. The state, which boasts of a generation capacity of 25,000 megawatts (mw), had only tapped a fraction of its potential due to an acute shortage of funds. But, of late, memoranda of understanding have been signed with 124 companies for 217 small hydel projects estimated to provide 347 mw of power. The entire programme will be worth Rs 20.8 billion. And with investors being invited to set up projects at 100 more sites to generate 116.5 mw of hydro power, things are looking up.

The proposed projects will be located in eight districts of the state including Shimla (27 sites) and Kinnaur (24 sites). The Himachal Pradesh Energy Development Agency, himurja, will be the nodal authority for implementing the project. "Private investors would be involved at every stage of the work,' says Sanjay Gupta, chief executive officer, himurja.