EXPECTING A likely announcement on the Assembly polls in a fortnight, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has been launching a slew of new projects, which he either had himself started or planned during his the current term as CM.
In the past 48 hours, Virbhadra laid foundation stones and also inaugurated more than 50 new projects in the districts of Kullu and Kinnaur, barely taking a break after he spent two days in Sirmaur and also flew to Kangra district last week.
After spending a day in Nirmand and Ani areas of Kullu, the CM Monday flew to Kinnaur to inaugurate the first phase of the ongoing Kashang hydel (65 mw) project that had run into several hurdles, including environmental clearance and opposition by local residents.
Work on the 195 MW (65X3) integrated Kashang Project was started in 2009 by the Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation.
Virbhadra said, “It is another feather in the cap of the hydel generation sector. Apart from this, it is one of the projects registered as Green Power Project under clean development mechanism.”
The CM claimed that the project was “nearly complete” for full generation of 195 MW project but owing to disputes pending in the National Green Tribunal, only 65 MW power was being produced at present. “We are sincerely hoping for quick resolution of these
disputes,” he said.
He expressed happiness over the steps taken for rehabilitation and relief provided to project affected families (PAFs) by HPPCL. He said the projected affected families would be provided 100 units free electricity per month once the project was commissioned completely.
MPP and Power Minister Sujan Singh Pathania said the state government was giving financial assistance in lieu of forest customary rights for 500 days’ minimum wages for labour disbursed to 510 affected families amounting to Rs 3.76 crore. Besides the Local Area Development Fund (LADF) @ 1.5 percent of project cost amounting to Rs 7.06 crore had been deposited with LADA authorities and even self employment schemes had been started for PAFs.
HPPCL managing director Devesh Kumar said rehabilitation and resettlement had been paid up to the tune of Rs 90 lakh in favour of those who lost land and Rs 105 lakh to 151 PAFs as compensation on account of cracks in their houses.