Shimla, Jul 23 (IANS): Public and private sector companies have harnessed 8,824 MW of hydropower of the estimated potential of 23,000 MW in Himachal Pradesh, a government official said Monday.
The number is over 38 percent of the total estimated potential.
The government spokesperson also said that in the four and a half year tenure of the state's BJP government, hydropower projects with a combined capacity of 2,431 MW have been set up.
Last year, the state allotted 17 projects of 1,325 MW through competitive bidding.
In the assembly's last budget session, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal had said that projects with a combined generation capacity of 12,798 MW were in various stages of commissioning.
"All these projects are likely to be commissioned by end of the 13th Five Year Plan (2017-22). On completion, the state will get power of 16,270 million units every year worth Rs.4,393 crore (as per current power rates) as royalty," Dhumal, who holds power portfolio, had said.
The government is encouraging local entrepreneurs to take up projects with 2-5 MW capacity. The government has allotted projects above 5 MW through open bidding.
It recently allowed 26 percent dilution of shares by an allottee belonging to the state for up to 2 MW capacity and 49 percent for 2-5 MW projects to non-Himachalis at any stage.
"This helps local entrepreneurs raise funds for expeditious development of projects," the spokesperson said.
Himachal Pradesh has abundant water resources, with five major rivers flowing from the western Himalayas.
The Satluj basin has the highest power potential of about 10,355 MW.
In his budget speech, Dhumal had said that to link the inter-state transmission corridor for the Ravi, Beas, lower Satluj and Yamuna basins, the government had succeeded in securing a loan of Rs.1,600 crore from the Asian Development Bank for the Himachal Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Ltd.