“Earlier the States used to get only 12 percent share of the power generated from the projects. Now we have changed the policy and one percent of the project cost will go to the local area development”,said Shinde to reporters yesterday evening here at Gangtok.
The minister said that the States where the power projects have been also requested to contribute a matching one percent for the development of the local area where the projects are being implemented.
The total will be two percent of the project cost for the local area development which is a huge amount, said Shinde. He further announced that the project affected persons who have lost their land to the projects will get all compensation and benefits due to him.
“The project affected person will get all his dues in addition to 100 units free electricity per month and he can also sell the (surplus)power”, said the minister.
Regarding the employment to the local persons, Shinde said that he has specifically asked that wherever public sector hydro power projects are coming up, a new Industrial Training Institute (ITI)
should come up in the project area. When the foundation stone of the power project is being laid, the ITI school also start to train the local youth and by the time the project starts, the services of the trained local youth can be used and they are employed, he said. He also added that the Ministry will also take up the matter of providing insurance to the project affected persons.
These measures have been launched as part of our corporate social responsibility, said the minister. However, these measures are not binding on the private developers.
Regarding Northeast, the minister said that Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim are very important to achieve the target laid down in the 11th Five Year Plan. Sikkim will become like Bhutan as far as revenue generated from hydel power is concerned, he said.
Sikkim will be a very rich in times to come and many power projects are come up very fast, said the minister asserting the Union government is equally serious about protection of environment and proper rehabilitation is concerned. He credited Chief Minister Pawan Chamling for laying trust on tapping the hydro power potential as a revenue source for Sikkim’s development.
Regarding the six power projects in North Sikkim being put on hold by the Ministry of Environment & Forests, the minister said that the matter has been taken up by the Power & Energy Ministry in the higher levels. I have discussed this with the concerned minister, he said adding that proper attention should also be given to the environment.
Commenting on protest from some quarters of the Sikkimese population towards the implementation of a slew of mega power projects in Sikkim,the minister said that resentment and concerns exists in other States also. Problems will crop up everywhere and we have to sit down and talk, he said.
On Sunday afternoon , the minister addressed the 16th meeting organized by Power Finance Corporation (PFC) with public power utility chiefs at a hotel here in Gangtok.
“It is estimated that for building requisite additional power capacity and associated transmission and distribution network, nearly Rs. 10 lakh crores of nvestment will be required in the next decade.
Thus, the power industry is poised for accelerated growth and role of institutions like PFC, is going to be very significant in mobilizing necessary resources lending to the State power utilities and steering the power sector towards financial and commercial viability, on a sustainable basis”, said Shinde.
The minister said that the Union government has set a capacity addition target of 78,700 MW in the 11th Plan period. “We have so far added more than 18,735 MW and orders are already been placed for the remaining capacity and the projects are under construction. We are still left with half the 11th Plan period and most of these projects are in a position to be commissioned well within the plan period.
However concerns over issues such as land acquisition, delays in supply of plant equipment and tying up of fuel linkage still remain”, he said.
“We are working on short term as well as long term measures to remove the bottlenecks for capacity addition in the power sector”, said Shinde.
source: Sikkim Express