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Hydropower is clean, green energy

DEHRADUN: Big dams are not the reason for degradation of the environment in Uttarakhand and micro level hydro projects will help the state meet its demand without going against the SC order — this was the conclusion at the Uttarakhand Power Conclave 2015.

The power conclave discussed state government’s mission of expanding power generation capacity, transmission and distribution network besides providing 24×7 reliable and quality power at affordable rates to people, issues and challenges in achieving this goal and bringing electricity reforms in the state.

The state is also toying with the idea of privatization in the power sector and for now, two districts have been selected for the pilot launch. “Privatization might prove a step ahead towards better development of the sector. We are planning to start it in the distribution sector for now. While a project for generation of up to 25 megawatt has been launched in January, though there have been not many takers for it,” said Uma Kant Panwar, energy secretary.

Pitching for big dams, SN Verma, MD of Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam, said it was the Tehri dam that prevented flooding of large tracts of land in Haridwar and Rishikesh during the 2013 floods. “Hydro development is a must for Uttarakhand as it is a clean and green form of energy. The state has more than 30,000 MW installed capacity.” He rejected the environmentalists’ claims that dams alter free flow of rivers, damage fisheries and can ruin riverine ecosystems. He claimed that the situation in 2013 flood would have been worse if Tehri dam had not been there.

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