After achieving the target of electrification of all villages of Himachal Pradesh, the State Government is now focusing on harnessing the hydro power potential and strengthening the transmission and distribution of electricity to the consumers.
After assuming the power, the present government had taken a decision to give new direction to the power sector which has shown fruitful results. As far as the hydro power generation is concerned, the State Government is making sincere efforts to harness 265 megawatt power in public sector alone. So far, the State has harnessed 10,264 megawatt power out of which 830 megawatt was harnessed during the year 2015-16.
With a view to avoid the delays in implementation of power projects due to want of timely clearances, time-lines has been prescribed under the HP Public Services Guarantee Act to give time bound clearances/NOCs for setting up of Hydro-Power Projects. Under the State Sector, it is expected that power generation will start from 65 megawatt Kashang, 100 megawatt Sainj and 100 megawatt Uhal hydro power project during this financial year. Additional 10 Megawatt has been harnessed by completing Ghanvi stage-II project.
Taking an effective step in the direction of Energy Conservation, LED Promotion Programme has been launched in the State under which LED Bulbs are being made available to domestic consumers, below the market price. Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Ltd. has procured these LED bulbs through Energy Efficiency Services Ltd., a Government of India undertaking. Over 22 Lakh consumers have been benefited which has helped in energy conservation and providing consumers with long lasting electricity bulbs.
The State government has prepared a revised solar energy policy for exploring the possibilities to develop solar energy. Grid interactive roof tops solar project have been proposed under the policy wherein 70 percent financial assistance power at the rate of rupees five per unit will be made available to the people under metering scheme.
The work on 33 KV H.T line in all districts have been completed except Pangi block of Chamba district under Rajeev Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana. Under restructured accelerated power development and reforms programme being implemented in 14 towns of the state, the work has been completed in Mandi, Chamba, Kullu and Una towns has been completed and the work in remaining towns will be completed by December this year.
Deen Dayal Upadhayay Gram Jyoti Yojana is also being started in the state with the help of central government. The scheme amounting to Rs. 159 crore aims at strengthening the power distribution system in the state. Three new electricity divisions have been opened at Fatehpur in district Kangra, Raisan in Kullu and Thalot in Mandi district and three sub-divisions at Khad in Una, Tanda and Macleodganj in Kangra district.
One of the major challenge before the government was the financial deficit of the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited and during last three years efforts have been made to cut it down through better management, financial restructuring and appropriate utilization of the resources. In its initiatives to improve the financial aspect of HPSEBL, the state government has taken over the loan liability of Rs. 564 crore of the Board and it will also pay the loan amounting to Rs. 56 crore during 2016-17. Besides, the government will provide financial assistance of Rs. 50 crore to the HPSEBL for upgrading the rural lines by installing new poles and transformers.
During last three years, a sum of Rs 600 crore has been invested by HPSEBL for improved distribution system and 4200 transformers were set up during this period. Apart from this, around 23 sub-stations of 33 KV, two sub-stations of 132 KV, One of 220 KV and three electric sub stations of 66 KV were made operational.