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Himachal

Posted at: Sep 13, 2018, 1:10 AM; last updated: Sep 13, 2018, 1:10 AM (IST)

Nod to 200-km Wangtoo power transmission line

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 12

The chances of tapping the 3,000 MW unexplored power potential in the Sutlej basin have brightened with the Centre giving nod for the laying of a transmission line near Wangtoo to evacuate power from the tribal districts of Kinnaur and Lahaul Spiti.

Several mega projects have been in the pipeline but not executed for want of a transmission line. A high-level team from the Central Electricity Regulatory Authority and Powergrid visited the area to assess the feasibility of the almost 200-km transmission line which would cost over Rs 3,000 crore. The state government too has shot off a letter to the Power Ministry following receiving the approval.

“We are now hopeful that some other pending projects will also be feasible,” said Tarun Kapoor, Additional Chief Secretary, Power and Forest. These projects include Jangi Thopan (780 MW), Khab project and Yangtan Khab. The absence of a transmission line in this region had also delayed the execution of the 1,000-MW solar power project approved for Spiti. The tribal district has the maximum potential for generating solar power but in the absence of a transmission line, the project could not be executed.

Earlier, there was a proposal to have a provision for power evacuation through the Rohtang tunnel but since the move did not materialise, Himachal had been keen that a transmission line was laid to be able to evacuate power from Kinnaur and Lahaul Spiti. With not too many independent power producers keen to invest in the hydropower sector, the revenue from the core earning sector has come down over the past many years. It is for this reason that the incentives are being doled out to woo investors.

Team to convince Jispa villagers

  • A high-level team from the Directorate of Energy will shortly visit Jispa in Lahaul Spiti to convince the locals to agree to the proposed hydropower project.
  • The locals are opposing the project on the condition that they will lose their precious land and get uprooted.
  • The Centre is keen that the locals come around as their livelihood and irrigation rights will be protected.

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