Monthly Archives: August 2017


$648 mn WB loan for THDC to build Vishnugad hydro project in Uttarakhand

Shimla :The World Bank on Wednesday signed a $648 million loan agreement with THDC India to build the 444 MW Vishnugad Pipalkoti hydro electric project on the Alaknanda river in Uttarakhand which will generate 1665 million kw hours of electricity each year.

The project will provide valuable addition of peaking power to India’s northern grid which faces severe power shortages at high–consumption times, a spoesman of the World Bank said.

The power generated from this project will be supplied to Punjab,Haryana, Rajasth, Uttar Pradesh,Himachal Pradesh,Uttarakhand,Chandigarh,Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir.

Apart from helping provide power at reasonable cost the project will also provide Uttarakhand with a royalty of 12 per cent of the power generated which will be around Rs 90 crore each year.

Renuka dam gets another jolt

Shimla : The proposed Rs 3,600 crore Renuka dam project in Himachal Pradesh’s Sirmaur district received a setback as the national green tribunal ordered the Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited(HPPCL) to stay all acquisition process under the land acquisition act.

The tribunal was hearing a petition by a local man who challanged the environmental clearances awarded to the project in October 2009.

The order was passed Thursday after councel Ritwik Dutta argued that the environment impact assessment(EIA) report for the project was totally inadequate.

Also there were severe discrepencies in the figures of the total area to be acquired for the project and the total number of families to be affected the project.

The EAI report, the environment clearance letter and the affidavit filed by HPPCL in the court has three different sets of data.

While the environment clearance(EC) was granted for 1477 hectares of land the the HPPCL claims that total land for the project is 2239 hectares.There is also a difference in the number of families affected.

So how can the project be given clearances when the baseline data is basent or false, the court asked.

The storage project of the Renuka project proposes to supply water to Delhi.It has been declared a national project and the Central and Delhi governments will fund the project.Himachal will only build the 40 Mw hydro electric project.

Heavy Silt in Satluj River Shuts Down 3 Hydropower Plants

2400 MW outage in northern grid due to silt in Satluj river

Shimla: High silt levels have shut down three major power project in Satluj Basin, starving the northern grid of 2400 MW of peaking power, as the region experienced heavy rains over the past 48 hours.

Spokesman of SJVN, a government company which operates the 1500 MW Natpha Jhakri power plant said that the silt levels in the river were very high, which forced the management to shutdown the turbines at about 2.30 p.m.

The six 250 MW turbines at the plant have a tolerance level of 4000 parts per million (PPM) of silt and should that rise, it damages vital machinery, said the spokesman.

Upstream of Nathpa plant, two power projects belonging to private developer Jaiprakash Associates having a combined installed capacity of 900 MW have also been forced to shut operations.

Managing Director of the company DP Goyal said that generation at the 2 turbines at the upcoming 1000 MW Karcham-Wangtoo project on Satluj River had been shut down as silt levels had crossed 17,000 ppm.

The Karcham-Wangtoo project is in its final stages of completion and all the four turbines are expected to be operational by 15 August, 2011.

The other plant on Baspa stream having a generation capacity of 300 MW has also been shut down because of the silt problem, he said.

All three plants, which supply power to the northern states of Punjab, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan and Delhi, would be unable to start generations till the silt levels come down.

Other than the regular monthly shutdown for a day for maintenance purposes, this happens to the years first forced shutdown because of silt crossing critical levels.

Elsewhere, landslides triggered by the heavy rains had blocked the Manali-Leh highway near Rohtang Pass for over six hours.

“Heavy earthmover machinery was moved in,” said BM Nanta, DC Kullu, “and the blocked highway was thrown open by afternoon.”

In 24 hours, Gohar in Mandi district recorded 108 mm of rain, Shimla 40 mm, Kullu 48 mm, Dharmashala 50 mm and Kalpa in Kinnaur recorded 43 mm of rain, the met office stated. More rain has been forecast for the next 24 hours.

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Road accidents in Himachal claim 3479 lives in three years

Shimla: Drunken driving, human error, bad roads, weather conditions and mechanical failure were cited as the reasons for the heavy toll of 3479 deaths in roads accidents in the last three years in Himachal Pradesh.

Responding to a question by Anil Kumar and Yog Raj (both congress), transport minister Mohinder Singh let the Vidhan Sabha know during question hour that majority (97.84 %) of the accident were due to drunken driving and human error.

Only about 1.52 % accidents had occurred due to bad road conditions and 0.64 % due to mechanical failure, said the minister.

Detailing about the steps taken to reduce accident rates, he said that 536 black spots (accident prone sites) had been identified and were being improved. The minister said that so far 248 black spots had been improved and work on others was going on.

Other measures taken included banning use of mobile phones by drivers while at the steering wheel and ban on use of stereos in buses had been ordered.

Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal let Prakash Chaudhary (Congress) know that Tirthan river in Kullu valley had been declared protected habitat for trout fish and no new power project were being allowed to come up on the Himalayan stream.

“Two hydro projects were approved on the river before the ban was imposed in 2004 and in case any project has been allotted later, the government will not hesitate to cancel them, he said adding that the government was even contemplating extending the ban to the tributaries of the Tirthan river.

He said that in last three years 269 mini and micro hydel projects had been approved, of which 250 had been given to Himachali entrepreneurs.

Work on Renuka Dam put on hold by National Green Tribunal

In response to a question by Harshwardhan (Congress), chief minister Dhumal said that construction of Renuka Dam had not started as the National Green Tribunal had granted a stay on 28.7.2011 on all construction activities.

He said that rehabilitation policy for the project had been framed and 35 hectares of land at four villages had been purchased at rates varying from Rs 3.75 lakhs to Rs 6.80 lakhs per bigha.

However, passing of the final award and payment of compensation under land acquisition has also been stayed by the green tribunal and till end of July, 2011 an expenditure of Rs 100.48 crores had been incurred on the project.

Himachal Bachao Morcha up against power company over forest violations in Chamba

Himachal Bachao Sangarsh Morcha, (HBSM) has protested forest violations allegedly taking place for constructing of roads for 36 MW Chanju I hydro project in Churah valley of Chamba district.

Uma Kumari, a HBSM workers let media persons know that blatant violations of Forest Conservation Act 1980 were taking place in Bagheigarh and Tikrigarh Panchayats.

Not only precious forest land were being destroyed but grasslands on which villagers depended upon for meeting fodder needs for domestic farm animals were being destroyed unscientifically dumping freshly excavated muck on the slopes, she said.

Uma added that it was not clear whether Indo Aryan Company which was executing the project had obtained forest and environment clearance for union ministry of environment and forest (MOEF) as this information was not available on its website.

No dumping sites had been marked on the ground nor the any demarcation of land allotted for the project had been done at the site, says the organisation.

Canada eyes investing in Himachal

Shimla : The Canadian government has shown interest in investing in Himachal Pradesh’s growing hydo electricity,tourism,food processing and horticulture sectors.

This was revealed by a spokesman of the state government after the Candadian high commissioner in India Stewart G Beck met the state chief minister P.K.Dhumal here Monday.

The two discussed vast opportunities for making investment by multi national companies in the hill state particularly in the booming hydel power sector which was being exploited mainly by private players.

There were still opportunities for tapping the remaining potential by MNCs in this sector.

Dhumal told the Canadian high commissioner that the state already has the country’s largest hydro power project the 1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri project and the 2100 MW Parbati project which is to be built.

The state government also wants Cananda to help to revive the old apple orchards in the state by plating high yielding varieties.

Dhumal said Himachal would be keen to welcome Canadian investment in education and food processing sectors.

Himachal handicrafts PSU earns Rs 13.5 crore income

Shimla : The once loss making state run HP handicraft and handloom corporation has earned an annual income of Rs 13.50 crore during the last fiscal year .

This was disclosed by Himachal Pradesh’s industries minister Kishan Kapoor at the company’s board of directors meeting here Thursday .

The preivious year the figure stood at Rs 13.38 crore.
The most popular products of the corporation are woollen shawls , mufflers , stoles , Himachali caps , jewellery , carpets , sandals , handkerchiefs , jackets and woollen shoes .

“Three handloom clusters were sanctioned at Tissa, Janjheli and Jwali at a cost Rs 1.35 crore . 350 weavers will benefit from this cluster ,” said Kapoor.

“A project worth Rs 14.48 lakh for skill upgradation and training in the making of the embroidered chamba rumal and leather crafts has been sanctioned by the union ministry of textiles .”

Another Rs 7.20 lakh has been sanctioned for conducting training workshops in leather,metal embroidered cloth crafts and the chamba rumal .

The company has outlets in all metropolitan cities of the country and holds regular exhibitions at many other places.

In the last year or so it has been earning good revenue by selling its products in exhibitions across Europe and the United States .

Dikshita with 97% in ICSE, Bhanu Pratap 96% in ISC top in Shimla

Shimla: There were no failures reported among the 362 students at four reputed schools who took ICSE (10th) and ISC (12th) examinations conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) earlier in the year.

Dikshita Vashist, a student of Loreto Convent Tara Hall with 97 percent marks has topped the ICSE and Bhanu Pratap Singh, a student at Bishop Cotton School (BCS), with 96 percent marks was first among the students who took the ISC examinations.

All the four schools have reported cent percent results, with the majority of them having secured first division aggregates.

Of the 111 girls at Loreto who appeared for the ICSE exam, Dikshita topped, tat second position was Sumesha Jaswal with 95.3 % and third was Divyani Chaturvedi securing 95.29 %.

Out of the 73 girls in Auckland House School the top position was bagged by Disha Singh with 94.4 %, Aakriti Chauhan was second with 92 %, Parul Narwar was third with 90.8 % followed by Deksha Kaur with 90.4 %

Of the 35 students at Shimla Public School the topper was Abhimanyu Thakur securing 95 % marks and at BCS of the 31 boys who appeared for the 10th class board exam it was Shikar Chauhan and Shubam Bansal who topped their class with 91 percent marks.

Abhimanyu Thakur

Of the 31 boys at BCS who sat for the ISC examination, Bhanu Pratap Singh, a humanities student, secured full marks in Mathematics and beat science students by securing 96 % marks.

In second position was Akshit Vig who secured 90 % marks. Six students appeared for the science stream, 15 in commerce and 10 were from the humanities side.

Of the 50 girls at Auckland House School, Vinny Verma with 91 % marks topped the science stream and Nadita Mahant was second with 90.5%.

In commerce stream Sukanya Sood and Malika Tanta were toppers with 90.5 % whereas Vijeta Chauhan with 92.25 % was first in the humanities group.