NHPC Ltd, a public sector energy company, which runs the 45MW Nimoo Bazgo hydro-electric project on the Indus river, wants to put up three more hydel projects in the Union Territory.
NHPC’s Group General Manager, Bikram Singh, told businessline last week that the company has pitched to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Ladakh for putting up hydro-electric power plants at Khalsi (78 MW), Takmachik (45 MW) and Kanuntsey (60MW).
It is learnt that the Ministry of Power is backing NHPC’s proposal.
Singh said that the LG of Ladakh ( R K Mathur) wanted more details, particularly on how the projects will benefit Ladakh. He said NHPC has explained to the LG that the UT would get 13 per cent of the power produced by the projects free of cost—12 per cent under a devolution formula and 1 per cent under the ‘local area development fund’ scheme.
Ladakh is surplus in electricity in the summers, when the rivers roar with ice-melted waters. Ladakh exports electricity to other states. However, come winter, the scene is different—very little water flows through (mostly frozen) rivers and Ladakh imports power from elsewhere. If these three projects come up, it would ease the situation because there would be more revenue by selling more power in the summers.
In addition, Ladakhis would get direct and indirect employment.
Singh pointed out that the Prime Minister has declared that Ladakh would be carbon neutral by 2030. These hydroelectric projects would help in that.
He stressed that the projects would mean a lot for the union territory. He also pointed out that before the Nimoo Bazgo plant came up (in 2011), Ladakh used to experience severe power shortages. Now, the plant produces 239 million kilowatt-hour of electricity every year.
Meanwhile, NHPC has also told the LG of Ladakh that it would like to put up solar PV plants in the Union Territory. There is a plan on the cards for a massive, 10GW solar project, which is to be organised by the government owned company, SECI. However, NHPC, having been there for a decade, knows the region well and would be able to put up solar projects quicker, Singh said.