In a report of international consultant Leh Meyer, after mapping the basins of the Satluj, the Beas, the Ravi, the Yamuna and the Chenab, some good news has cropped up for state as its generation capacity has been enhanced from 23,000 MW at present to almost 27,000 MW.
Leh Meyer team has finalised its report and presented a draft to the Power Department, which is scrutinising the exhaustive document so that it can be readied to be placed before the new Cabinet by the end of this year.
The experts have identified every possible site for hydro power generation on the tributaries of the five major rivers, indicating even sites for projects as small as 0.5 MW.
The submission of the report will also pave the way for bidding for new hydro power projects. It had been decided not to approve any new project till the mapping was complete. Besides identifying potential sites for projects on the rivers and tributaries, the experts have indicated the capacity of and distance between two projects.
The mapping has been undertaken keeping in mind the protection of flora and fauna in low-lying areas so that it does not adversely affect the lives of people living downstream.
At present, there are about 600 micro, mini and mega hydro power projects in Himachal Pradesh, which are being executed by independent power producers and government undertakings like Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited, National Hydro Power Corporation, HIMURJA and Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board.