PMO Mulls Mother Authority For Hydel Projects

New Delhi, May 21: | Updated: May 22 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Prime Ministers Office (PMO) is mulling the next biggest thing after National Highway Development Project (NHDP). It will be one mother authority to implement entire network of centrally sponsored hydel projects in the country. The game A one-stop shop for hydro power clearances cutting through several layers of present-day bureaucracy.

Top government officials disclosed that the proposed hydel authority will be on lines of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), currently executing NHDP. The proposed hydel authority will have an improved institutional framework with adequate delegations for single window clearance including the public investment board (PIB) and environment clearance.

The proposal to have a hydro authority/power commission was mooted on Tuesday by the power ministry at a brainstorming session in the PMO.

As a first big step aimed at promoting hydel power generation in the country, a 50,000 mw hydroelectric initiative is being launched by the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday. This programme would entail preparation of pre-feasibility reports (PFRs) for 162 hydro-electric power schemes with an installed capacity of 50,560 mw in 16 states by the central electricity authority (CEA).

In its presentation to the PMO, the power ministry pointed out that the50,000 mw hydro-electric initiative, to be implemented in 11th and 12th plans, would require funds to the tune of Rs 2,25,000 crore with an equity of Rs 70,000 crore and debt of Rs 1,55,000 crore.

It has been proposed that the equity component of Rs 70,000 crore can be met by way of gross budgetary support of Rs 20,000 crore each during the 11th and 12th five-year plan. For the remaining equity of Rs 40,000 crore, power ministry has proposed levying a cess of 3 paise per unit on generation for 10 years.

Besides setting up of a hydro authority, the power ministrys presentation focussed on various other issues for speedy implementation of hydel projects. It was pointed out that the focus should be on quality of appraisal rather than number and stage of appraisal.

The PFRs will be prepared by September 2004 by CEA involving central and state power utilities like NHPC, NEEPCO and others. The PFRs will be followed by detailed project reports (DPRs) for investment decision, officials said.