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Hydro electric projects in hilly areas

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF  POWER
RAJYA SABHA
QUESTION NO  69
ANSWERED ON  07.07.2014

Hydro electric projects in hilly areas

69 SHRI VIJAY JAWAHARLAL DARDA
Will the Minister of POWER be pleased to satate :-
(a) whether Government is aware that there are many hydro-electric projects in the hilly areas in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand;

(b) if so, the number of such projects in these States;
(c) whether for many such projects, tunnels running in kilometers, have been dug in the mountains, diverting rivers and creating artificial lakes and making mountains vulnerable for disasters; and

(d) the number of such cases in the northern region and whether environmental clearances were obtained and if so, the details thereof?
  
THE MINISTER OF STATE (INDEPENDENT CHARGE) FOR POWER, COAL AND NEW & RENEWABLE ENERGY( SHRI PIYUSH GOYAL )

(a) & (b) : As per the Reassessment study carried out by CEA during 1978-87, the identified hydroelectric potential of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand was 18540 MW and 17998 MW respectively (having schemes of Installed Capacity (IC) of above 25 MW). Details of the hydroelectric projects under operation and under construction in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are given below:

Himachal Pradesh

Capacity (MW)
Identified Hydro Power Potential as per reassessment Study from Major/Medium Schemes (Schemes having IC of above 25 MW) 18540
I Capacity in operation: 21 HEPs 8370.67
II Capacity under construction: 14 HEPs 3153.33

Uttarakhand
Capacity (MW)
Identified Hydro Power Potential as per reassessment Study from Major/Medium Schemes (Schemes having IC of above 25 MW) 17998
I Capacity in operation: 15 HEPs 3426.4
II Capacity under construction: 6 HEPs 1640


(c) & (d) : The hydro projects are site specific and features of a hydro electric project like Dam, tunnels, storages are decided on the basis of detailed Survey & Investigation.

Most of the hydro projects in hilly areas involve construction of dam/barrage and tunnels/channels and power house. The length of tunnel and the capacity of reservoir so created varies from project to project. Hydroelectric projects do not make mountains vulnerable for any disaster.

The H.E. Projects are taken up for construction only after the environment clearance is obtained. Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environment Management Plan (EMP) studies are carried out by all the Hydro Project Developers which are approved by Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF). Only after obtaining Environment & other statutory clearances from State/Central Govts., project is taken up for construction. In Northern Region, all the hydro projects constructed/under construction have obtained environment clearance.