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Odisha steering committee to fast track small hydro projects

According to reports, the steering committee of the state government on small hydro power projects is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to take stock of the progress made with respect to small hydro projects in the state.

The panel headed by chief secretary B K Patnaik has been formed to fast track such projects. The committee has other top officials as members including secretaries of the departments of finance, law, water resources, revenue, forest & environment and energy.Meanwhile, the task of scrutiny and approval of design of small hydro-electric projects (SHEPs) proposed by private developers has been entrusted to Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Roorkee.

Two centres of IIT-Roorkee – alternate hydro energy centre and department of water resources development and management will be engaged for the purpose. The design of the SHEPs will be adopted by the state technical committee after approval by the institute.

The vetting of design of SHEPs is meant for expediting implementation of the projects.

The state government had signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with 32 developers for hydel power projects, envisaging generation capacity of 409 MW and involving investment of Rs 2250 crore.

The state energy department has plans to operationalize 13 hydro power plants over and above the 13 running projects.

Of the 13 new hydro power plants, four will be executed by state owned Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) with the remaining nine to be developed by private players. These hydro power projects are to be taken up in Keonjhar, Kalahandi, Malkangiri, Koraput, Bargarh, Khurda, Rayagada, Gajapati and Cuttack districts and are expected to be commissioned in the 12th Plan period (2012-17).

OHPC is currently operating seven hydro-electric projects- Hirakud-I (Burla)- 275.5 MW, Hirakud-II (Chipilima)- 72 MW, Balimela- 510 MW, Rengali-250 MW, Upper Kolab- 320 MW, Upper Indravati- 600 MW and Machkund- 14.75 MW.

Among the private developers that have firmed up plans for SHEPs include city-based Sidheswari Power Generation Pvt Ltd which has proposed a 10 MW plant at Kharagpur in Koraput district.

Similarly, Secunderabad-based Pallavi Power & Mines has proposed 15 MW SHEP on river Kolab between Tentuliguma and Sangumma. Another Secunderbad-based developer- Sarvani Energy has plans to set up 15 MW Dumajhori SHEP, four km from the Kolab river in Koraput district.

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