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The Uttarakhand government seems to have put on the back burner its plan to develop micro, mini and small hydropower projects, the bids for which were invited last year under the self-identification route.
The government last year received nearly 800 bids from private developers but so far no decision has been taken in the wake of concerted campaign by a section of environmentalists and VHP leaders on religious and environmental grounds.
"As of now, no interest is being shown at the top level as far as these projects are concerned," said a government official. This is being seen as a yet another setback to the power sector owing to the on-going "save river campaign."
Earlier, the Ujra Cell, which is evaluating these bids, had given different reasons for the delay. It was pointed out that at least two to three different developers had sent bids on the same hydropower project under the self-identified route. But so far, the evaluation process has also not made any headway.
In some other cases, the developers have not given full information regarding their projects. The officials also made it clear that there was no deadline for the process of final allotment in this regard.
The Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (UJVNL), a state government enterprise, had received nearly 800 bids for these projects, mostly from private developers, the last date for which was December 27 last year. Besides, the government also received bids for at least 10 identified projects.
After suspending two big hydropower projects last year, the government was keen to focus on its new power policy on micro, mini and small projects in the hill state with a hope to generate 1,100 Mw.
Hydropower projects have been grouped in three broad categories – micro, mini and small. Projects with capacity up to 100 Kw will be categorised as micro, mini will comprise between 100 Kw and up to 5 Mw and small projects will consist of above 5 Mw and up to 25 Mw.
The government has made provision for self-identified projects under which developers can identify a project, prepare the DPR and ask for allotment. In the other category, the state or state-sponsored agencies may identify the projects of any size, prepare DPR and allot them.