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HP urges Centre to set up Corpus Fund for hydel projects

Written by: Staff
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Shimla, Oct 25 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh urged the Centre to set up a Corpus Fund of Rs 1,000 crore for preparing detailed project reports (DPRs) of hydro-power projects, saying it was necessary to ensure good DPRs were being prepared.

''Since the implementation of the hydro power project depends on the DPRs, it is essential they are of good quality and are reliable,'' he told reporters here.

Mr Singh said all other conditions besides 12 per cent free power to the state should form part of the DPR so that all input costs form a part of the financial closure.

The relief and rehabilitation provision for any project should also be decided before the financial closure to avoid resettlement and rehabilitation problems which prevail in the state in Bhakra and Pong Dam, he said.

He said the new hydro power policy of the state also provides for releasing 15 per cent water downstream during the lean season to protect aquatic life, vegetation and wildlife besides safeguarding the water rights of the people living in the downstream areas.

Expressing concern that a few central undertakings have contested the state government's decision on the issue in the courts, he said this was against the interests of the state.

''Our only aim while framing the policy was to preserve the Himalayan ecology and environment and nothing more,'' he said The Chief Minister said Himachal was also the only state in the country that had made it compulsory for the promoter to provide 1.5 per cent of the project cost for local area development.

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