Tribune News Service
Shimla, September 21
State Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Science and Technology, Tarun Kapoor has directed the state pollution control board to keep mini hydropower projects below 25 MW capacity in the “white category of industries” in the state.
The direction was issued on September 19 after taking cognizance of The Tribune story published in these columns on September 18.
The corruption rocked the pollution board this month after a board sub-divisional official, Kullu, Chandan Singh was caught red-handed taking a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from a restaurant owner, who was asked to get NOC for setting up a generator in his restaurant.
According to power producers, the pollution board made them visit the board office seeking NOC for mini power projects despite the fact that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had issued a clear-cut direction on January 18, 2017, exempting the power projects of 25 MW or less from the NOC from the board.
The fresh order had put the pollution board in a spot but it had come as a big relief for the power producers. Over dozens of projects were being delayed because of the board’s NOC, they charged.
Now, these are exempted from NOC under the Water (Prevention of Control of Pollution) Act 1974.
A senior official in the state electricity regulatory commission revealed that all white category projects were clean energy ones under the CPCB and these do not need an NOC from the pollution board.
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