Category Archives: Business

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Rivers in spate shut down all major hydroelectric plants in Himachal

Shimla: With all Himalayan rivers in spate in Himachal Pradesh, all major hydropower plants in the state have be forced to shut down generation operations causing an sudden outage of over 3100 MW of power.

Managing director of Jaypee Hydro Power, DP Goyal said that power generation at the 300 MW Baspa project and 600 MW at Karcham Wangtoo power plant have been shut down due to high silt levels in the river.

Since heavy silt erodes vital turbine parts, the managements as a precaution shut operations, he added.

Downstream of Karcham Wangtoo plant, government owned company SJVN shut down the country’s largest hydro plant that generates 1500 MW of peaking power.

Sunil Grover, a senior engineer with HP State electricity Board said that several plant of HPSEB with a total generation capacity of 400 MW, which included 120MW Sanjay Vidyut Bhaba plant and 126 MW Largi plant, have had to shut down operations because of silt caused by incessant rains over the last few days.

In Ravi river basin, 300 MW Chamera plant has also shut down generation, sources said.

$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.

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 .

SJVNL pays Himachal Rs 84.40 crore share

Shimla : Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd(SJVNL) has declared a total dividend of Rs 333.93 crore for its financial performance in the last fiscal year.

Towards Himachal Pradesh’s 25.5 per cent participation in SJVNL’s equity, the state government on Tuesday paid a cheque of Rs 84.40 crore and the rest of the government of India.

The company’s CMD R.P.Singh presented the cheque to the state chief minister P.K.Dhumal.

SJVNL’s flagship hydro electric project, the 1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri project achieved a record generation of 7140 million units(MU) in the last fiscal year.

Since April to August the plant has generated 4865 MU of electricity. Singh said this year in August the Nathpa project generated 1151 MU, which was an all time record.

SJVNL is a joint venture company owned by the Centre and the Himachal government.

SJVN half year profits touch Rs 759.31 Cr

Shimla: Public sector power generating company SJVN reported a 29% increase in its profits for the July-September quarter over its last year corresponding quarter.

Whereas last year in the July-September quarter the company had earned a profit of Rs 319.59 Cr, this year quarter with the 1500 MW Jhakri plant working at over 100% capacity the company has reported a profit of Rs 411.10 crore.

The half yearly profits also registered an increase of 24.5% at Rs 759.31 crore against Rs 610.35 crore during the corresponding period of last year.

The financial results of the company were finalized at a board meeting Delhi today.

SJVN’s Earnings Per Share (EPS) have increased to Rs 1.84 against Rs 1.48 for the corresponding period over last year.

Generation for a six month period at Jhakri plant, which happens to be the country’s largest hydropower plant touched 5876.08 million units (MU of energy against 5030.75 MU during the corresponding period of last year.

In 2010-11 SJVN had reported a profit of Rs 912.13 crore. Himachal Pradesh government has a 25 % share holding in the central public sector undertaking, with public holding being 10 percent.

Maruti Suzuki headed to Gujarat for setting up new plant

Mumbai: Facing labour problems at its Manesar plant in Haryana, automobile giant Maruti Suzuki today said it will buy land in Gujarat for setting up new manufacturing facilities.

“The board granted approval to purchase land in district of Mehsana, Gujarat, for future expansion of manufacturing facilities,” the company said in a regulatory filling to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The decision comes in the wake of huge decline in the automobile giant’s second quarter net profit followed by labour unrest and the subsequent strikes at its Manesar facility in Haryana earlier this month.

The company reported a decline of 59.81 percent in its net profit for quarter ended Sep 30 due to labour unrest, sluggish market conditions, and high fuel and interest costs.

The company posted a net profit of Rs.240.44 crore for the quarter ended Sep 30 as compared to Rs.598.24 crore during the like period of the previous financial year, said the regulatory filing.

The company managed to sell a total of 252,307 units, a decline of 19.6 percent over 313,654 units during the same period last year.

The company currently has two facilities — at Gurgaon and Manesar, both in Haryana — with a collective capacity to manufacture 1.2 million vehicles annually.

The company is among many automobile firms headed to Gujarat, including Ford, PSA Peugeot Citroen and supply chain vendors.

The state already hosts the Tata Nano plant in Sanand area of Ahmedabad district.

Himachal clears industrial proposals , to bring in Rs 707 crore investment

Shimla : Nine new industrial proposals will be set up in Himachal Pradesh and 21 existing units will be expanded . All of them propose to bring in an investment of over Rs 707 crore .

This decision was taken late Saturday by the state level single window clearance and monitoring authority which met here under the chairmanship of chief minister P.K. Dhumal.

Today’s policy decisions are significant , but no other details were provided by the government spokesman .

Punjab floats venture fund for IT sector

Chandigarh: To attract Information Technology (IT) entrepreneurs to Punjab the government floated a venture capital fund with a corpus of Rs 20 crore today.

“The Punjab Infotech Venture Fund has been set up to help small and medium IT units,” said Tikshan Sud, minister for industries.

To manage the fund, Punjab Infotech had signed an agreement with Subhkam Ventures, a Mumbai based company, he added.

The venture fund has been put together by state PSUs Punjab Infotech. Punjab State Industrial Development Corp Ltd and Punjab Financial Corp in association with Small Industries Bank of India.

Sud claimed that IT and IT related software exports from Punjab had crossed a Rs 1000 crore turnover.

After the success of Mohali as an IT hub, the government has plans to develop IT parks in Kapurthala and Railmajra in SBS Nagar, he said.

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H P Khadi & Gramodyog Board funds 196 projects

Shimla : The HP Khadi and Gramodyog Board has sponsored 196 projects worth around Rs 10.2 crore to various banks under the Prime Minister’s employment generation programme in Himachal Pradesh .

This was disclosed by the state industries minister Kishan Kapoor while addressing the board of directors of the board here Friday .

“A provision for disbursing margin money worth Rs 2.79 crore to entrepreneurs has also been made during the current financial year which would generate 1173 jobs ,” said the industries minister .

“In the last fiscal year 1475 persons benefited through 14 units under various activities like wool spinning and woollen cloth finishing ,” Kapoor said .