Private Hydro remain in stalled Himachal The State Govt has sought the revised completion schedules of 21 stalled hydropower projects (above 5 MW capacity) having a capacity of 684 MW. Additional Chief Secretary (Power) Tarun Kapoor on June 19, 2018 held a meeting with independent power producers to take feedback from them on the hurdles being faced in completion of the 10 stalled projects on which work has not begun. In the remaining 11 projects also, the progress is extremely slow. “We have asked the power producers to expedite work on these 21 projects and also cancelled the Joiner-II (8 MW) in Kinnaur,” revealed Kapoor. Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 25 June 2018: Himachal Hydro remain stalled: Big Hydro no longer viable”
The Prime Minister, on Dec 16, 2017, while dedicating to nation the 60 MW Turial HEP, should have also mentioned:
– PUBLIC PROTESTS: The project faced strong protests from local people, so much so that work had to be stopped for over 7 years from 2004 to 2011. Even a day before PM dedicated the project, people took out a protest march.
– NO PUBLIC CONSULTATION: One of the reasons people protested was that the project did not have any proper public consultation.
– NO PROPER IMPACT ASSESSMENT: Another reason for people’s anger was no proper environment or social impact assessment, or proper compensation and rehabilitation.
– HIGH COST: The project cost was Rs 368.72 Crores, but now already has gone above Rs 1441 crores officially, likely to go up further. That means per MW cost is already above Rs 24 crores, one of the highest in the country. WHO WILL PAY THE HIGH COST OF ELECTRICITY FROM THE PROJECT?
– HUGE COST ESCALATION from Rs 369 crores to over Rs 1440 crores
– HUGE TIME OVER RUN: The project was supposed to be completed many decades back but has seen huge time over run, not only because of protests, but also because of inadequate mobilisation by the contractor, poor approach road, power house slope failure, among many other reasons.
This latest project once again shows that big hydro is no longer viable, one wishes, the Prime Minister would also highlight these realities in his speeches.
Above: Just a few hundred meters upstream the proposed Jhari Dam, a tribal woman struggles to find water in the dry Par river bed Photo: Parineeta Dandekar
Village of Jhari at the northern most corner of Western Ghats has some of the loveliest houses I have seen. Appreciation for the evolved vernacular architecture goes beyond the obvious urban romanticisng of anything tribal. Homes in this region of tribes like Kokani, Warli, Thakurs, etc, are unique in their architecture, building materials, craftsmanship and the seamless mix of beauty and functionality. The tiled roof of our host Haribhau had intricate wooden trimmings, the mudfloor was cool and the door frame was carved in exquisite motifs. Vines arched and spread in disarray over courtyards. We were assembled under a passion fruit or ‘Rasna’ vine, bursting with white flowers. Inside, cane baskets creaked under the weight of Ragi, Udid and Rice filled to the brim: This year’s harvest has been good, though that’s not always the case. The hosts, both men and women, were busy with lunch preparations. Continue reading “Par-Tapi-Narmada Link: Divided States, United Tribals”
Above: A girl from the Par Basin. With drinking water problems plaguing her village and the impending diversion project either from Gujarat or Maharashtra, her hardships will only increase. Photo: Parineeta Dandekar
Even as the second meeting of the Special Committee for Interlinking of Rivers was held on the 6th January 2015[i], the Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti sought “co-operation of various States in this project” and said that “States can discuss their apprehensions if any, in the next meeting of the committee.” She informed the meeting that on 07 January 2015, she will meet Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri. Devendra Fadnavis to discuss Damanganga-Pinjal and Par-Tapi-Narmada link projects.