By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 11 Jul: Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami paid a courtesy call on Union Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy RK Singh in, New Delhi, today. Dhami urged the Union Power Minister to set up fresh policy and guidelines in respect of the grants given by the Union Renewable Energy Ministry for development and construction of small hydro power projects in Uttarakhand. The Chief Minister pointed out that work is underway on several small hydro power projects in Uttarakhand while some new projects are waiting to be started for wants of Central financial assistance so that the tariff of these projects could be brought down.
The Chief Minister requested the Union Minister to extend the stipulated time period for installation of approved solar street lights in rural areas of Uttarakhand and direct the agency concerned to complete the remaining works at the earliest.
While discussing the Kishau project, the Chief Minister said that the electricity component cost and water component cost of the project ought to be fixed at 13.3 percent and 86.7 percent, respectively, in future, relative to the total revised cost of the project. Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh should also be permitted to use their watersheds without any hindrance and to sell the unused water of their watersheds to any state.
The Chief Minister, while discussing the Lakhwar Multipurpose Project situated on the Yamuna river in Dehradun district, said that all the necessary approvals had been received for the construction of the project and only the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs was awaited for financial assistance. As soon as the central grant was received, this project of national importance would resume again. The Chief Minister requested the Union Minister to take necessary action on priority basis for granting early financial approval to the Lakhwar Multipurpose Project from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
Dhami said that it had been proposed to install smart meters and pre-paid meters in OPEX mode under the Revamped Reforms Linked Results Based Distribution Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Power, Government of India. Only 15 percent of the Gross Budgetary Support had been provided by the Union Government under “Smart Meter and Pre-Paid Meter”, due to which the State Government’s distribution company is having to bear the financial burden in implementing this policy. The CM urged Singh to increase the proposed Gross Budgetary Support to 50 percent to reduce the burden.
Additional Chief Secretary Anand Bardhan, and Secretary Shailesh Bagoli were also present on the occasion.
Later, Dhami also called on Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and urged him to ensure regular air services from Pithoragarh. Dhami also urged Scindia to allow the state to operate single engine helicopters under the regional connectivity scheme.
The CM said that to make Pithoragarh airstrip more viable from the point of view of air services, it ought to be handed over to Airports Authority of India for survey. He said that Pawan Hans should be allowed to provide air services in Kumaon region on other days of the week also.