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The Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh said the State Government is extending top priority for expeditious exploitation of the hydro power potential which is a very important resource for the Economic development of the State. He was presiding over a seminar organized jointly by the Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd. and the Forum of the Hydro Power Producers and other stakeholders in various river basins of the State, today.
He termed it as an imperative initiative to deliberate on the important issue of hydro power sector development and required policy changes in the hydro power policy to harness the potential of the state as early as possible. The Chief Minister said power sector is critical to the development of the economy as development in all other sectors depends largely on the availability of power. The Himachal Government is fully aware of this fact and is according top priority to the hydro power sector and it will ensure development in the remotest parts and act as the major resource for revenue of the State.
He said that though the hydro power sector has witnessed declining trends in past few years, but there is no need for worry as every sector passes through such phases. He assured that the Himachal Government would provide every possible assistance to give the boost to this vital sector, which is also a major source of the economy. He said Himachal Pradesh has the distinction of providing reliable and quality supply to all consumers in the State where hundred percent revenue villages were electrified long ago. Not only this, the consumers in the State enjoy one of the lowest tariffs in the country, he added.
Mr. Singh said that the priority of the Government is to expeditiously harness balance potential in a manner that optimizes returns to the State. With a view to achieving this, the process of involving both the central government PSUs and the private sector in a big way in hydro power development has been initiated. He underlined that while executing hydro electric projects there is a need to assess key issues and requirements to meet the needs of sustainability, environmentally appropriate developments as well as adaptation towards addressing vulnerabilities from climate change.
The Chief Minister said to embark upon ambitious programme in the hydel generation the State Government in 2006 formulated its own hydro power policy in 2006. This was formulated with a view to maintaining a delicate balance to safeguard the interest of the people and mountain a delicate ecology and environmental safeguards.