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Home News Power Sector News Centre wants NHPC to carry out 420-Mw Lakhwar-Vyasi hydel project

Centre wants NHPC to carry out 420-Mw Lakhwar-Vyasi hydel project

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Bhagirathi riverAfter National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) lost the race for setting up the 420-Mw Lakhwar-Vyasi hydel project to Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (UJVNL), the Centre has asked the state government to reconsider its decision.NHPC, the public sector hydro-electric power producer, has been fuming since the state government in July allotted the project to UJVNL soon after two key projects on the Bhagirathi river were put on hold following protests by environmentalists .

NHPC officials claimed that the Lakhwad-Vyasi project, which will benefit several northern states like Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, was declared as a national project due to efforts of the PSU. They informed that the Centre is ready to bear 90 per cent of its cost following techno-economic appraisal of the project and investment clearance by the Planning Commission. There is going to be a 200-metre high arch-gravity concrete dam, underground powerhouse with 2.7 km-long headrace tunnels.Once completed, the project is likely to produce 927 million units of power besides irrigating 40,000 hectares of land through the east Yamuna canal.

Coming to the aid of NHPC, Union Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh has now written a letter to the state government requesting that the project should be handed over to the public sector major, which has carried out various surveys and
prepared a detailed report of the Lakhwar-Vyasi project, to be built on river Yamuna in Dehra Dun district.

The state government’s contention is that the project was allotted to UJVNL mainly because Uttarakhand can retain all the power. In case the project goes to a central government-run power utility, the state can earn only 13 per cent of the power
as royalty.

With clouds of uncertainty looming over a series of hydel projects on the Bhagirathi over environmental issues, the Lakhwar-Vyasi project was considered to be a prize catch for UJVNL.Meanwhile, UJVNL CMD Yogendra Prasad said the decision cannot be changed now since preparations for building the project have already started.The proposed project, which is to attract an investment of Rs 3,000-4,000 crore, has been hanging fire for the past 20 years.

UJVNL, whose two major projects — 480-Mw Pala Maneri and 400-Mw Bhairon Ghati — were put on hold by the state government following protests in June, wanted itself to be compensated by Lakhwar-Vyasi.

The construction of the project was initially started in 1979 by the Uttar Pradesh irrigation Department. But due to paucity of funds, the project could not see the light of the day. After Uttarakhand came into being in 2000, the state government handed over the responsibility of preparing the revised Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the multipurpose project to NHPC.But after UJVNL’s projects were staved off, the state government made up its mind to hand over the Lakhwar Vyasi to its own

Courtsey - Business standard

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