AP Govt to empower tribals through mini-hydel projects

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Hyderabad, Jan 11 (UNI) In an effort to usher in prosperity for tribals inhabiting forests, the Andhra Pradesh Government has chalked out an ambitious plan to generate 152 MW of power from 90 mini-hydel projects at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore.

Informing this to reporters here today, Andhra Pradesh Tribal Power Company Limited Executive Director R C Kumar said three mini-hydel projects to produce 1.6 MW of power each were under construction at Pinjarikonda, Metlapalem and Vettamamidi in Rampachodavaram agency of East Godavari district.

Stating that the projects would be completed by June, he said the generating capacity would be increased to three MW in the next phase.

These projects, expected to generate a gross annual income of Rs one crore each, would be owned by the local tribal community and the income would be used for the overall socio-economic development of the community, he said.

The Centre would bear 50 per cent of the project cost of Rs six crore each and the balance would be raised by the State Government by securing loan from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

He said Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) were entered into with the Eastern Power Distribution Company for purchasing the power produced by the three mini-hydel plants at Rs 2.49 per unit.

Three more projects would be taken up at Chidpalem and Devaramadugu in East Godavari district and Valsampeta in Paderu in Visakhapatnam district in the next 18 months.

Mr Kumar said detailed project reports were prepared for 13 projects and pre-feasibility reports(PFRS) for eight more projects.

UNI SM VA ROY MS RN1810

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