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Posted at: Dec 29, 2018, 1:41 AM; last updated: Dec 29, 2018, 1:41 AM (IST)

No takers for hydro power projects in Chenab basin

No takers for hydro power projects in Chenab basin

Kuldeep Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 28

There are no takers for power projects in the Chenab basin at Lahaul-Spiti. Independent power producers (IPPs) have surrendered seven projects allotted to them, saying high cost of power generation and lack of infrastructure had made those unviable.

The IIPs are now pressuring the state government to pay them the upfront premium, which the latter refused, saying the term and conditions did not permit them to do so. “As a result, the IPPs - Reliance, Tata, Moser Baer, Larsen and Toubro — have moved court, which has sabotaged the government’s plan to seek bids for these projects,” sources said.

The IPPs pleaded that most projects in the Chenab basin were unviable as all incentives were being given to the solar sector by the Centre. “The cost of producing 1-MW electricity from hydropower has reached Rs 10 crore,” they added.

According to power officials, Reliance was the first to surrender the 300-MW Purthi project located in Pangi, Chamba district. Then it surrendered 34-MW Schling and 90-MW Tailing in the basin. The company has cited that the projects have become unviable. Moser Baer, which was allotted the 400-MW Seli power project near Udaipur town of Lahaul-Spiti district, also surrendered the project. Tribals had been opposing the Seli project as they feared that it would submerge the green forest of mini-Manali near Udaipur.

Tata surrendered the 450-MW Duggar power project located in the Pangi area this year. The project was allotted to it in 2007-2008. Tata conducted a feasibility study, but found it unviable, the sources added.

Larsen and Toubro surrendered the 190-MW Sach Khas and 400-MW Raili-Dugli project downstream of Udaipur on the Chenab.

Similarly, ABG energy surrendered the 126-MW Bardang project citing the same reason.

DCM Company which was allotted the 100-MW Chatru project, world’s highest on the Chandra river, also wants to surrender the project.

Tribals of Pangi and Lahaul-Spiti have been seeking a ban on power projects in the Chenab basin, which has put off the power producers as most rivers are fed by melting glaciers.

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