Atomic power plant for Himachal?



SHIMLA: With 21,000 MW of hydro-electric power potential, Himachal is defiantly the power state of India. If tapped effectively, rivers here have the capacity to meet the requirement of the state for the next 100 years certainly, so what else do we need. Not thermal or atomic power stations at least. By asking the Centre for the same, the state government is being over-ambitious.
And if that is part of the ‘innovative power policy’ the government announced on Tuesday, then there is certainly room for improvement in it. As such the state is already in turmoil in case of hydel projects being executed here, especially the big ones. That the government has failed to show consistency in pursuing its power ‘policies’ is proof that not all is well with these projects. There are a host of socio-economic and environmental problems that plague the big projects. Now voices are also being raised against even the mini ones. How many of these voices are genuine SOS calls is a debatable matter, but as the adage goes there cannot be any smoke without fire. Whatever be, the state will have to live with these hydel projects as water is the most valuable natural resource we have.
But to call trouble from outside in the form of an atomic project or even thermal power plants is totally uncalled for.
There is no point reasoning that our neighbour Punjab has said a strict not to an atomic power project. We need to be aware of our own realities, and decide accordingly. We are not in a desperate condition to grab anything that comes our way. The hazards that accompany atomic power plants are no secrets. And even it one such plant is set here, how would the state benefit from it. Firstly, the project would be funded by the Centre as the state government is not in a position to invest that huge an amount. Secondly, if the state is not to have any stake in it, the power generated there would also certainly go into the Central pool.
Even in case of thermal plants, the economies of setting such a project would not be in our favour for a simple reason that coal would have to be brought in from far off to fuel such a plant.
But the basic question remain – why do we need such projects when we are already producing excess power.

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