Hydro electric power: Need of the hour

NEW DELHI: The Modi government has stressed on renewablesources of energy which includes solar and wind. However, not much stress is being paid to hydro. One of the reasons is that they involve environmental issues as well as land acquisition and rehabilitation more than the other sources of power including thermal.

India is endowed with large hydro-electric potential having total installed capacity of about 1,50,000MW. Recognizing the need for development of large untapped renewable hydroelectric resources in terms of their merit of clean, inflation free, contribution to system reliability and stability, 50,000MW hydroelectric initiative was launched by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in May, 2003 which covered preparation of preliminary feasibility reports of 162 hydroelectric projects. After doing survey & investigation DPRs for about 40 projects were prepared.

Following the initiative a number of hydro projects were allotted to the developers in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh Meghalaya and Sikkim etc. Due to anumber of reasons including, environmental clearances, land acquisition, rehabilitation & resettlement problems, lack of infrastructure development due to location of projects in remote areas etc, development of hydro projects has remained slow.

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