Major announcements made in budget 2020-21 to improve infrastructure and to improve the affordability of electricity in the state

 Hydel Power is an important source of revenue for the State Government. Hydel projects of 515 MW are expected to be commissioned in 2020-21 which include Bajoli Holi HEP (180 MW), Wanger Homte HEP (24.6 MW), Sorang HEP (100 MW) and HPPCL’s project Sawara Kuddu HEP (111 MW). The Uhl (100 MW) shall be commissioned in May, 2020. Construction of Luhri State-I, HEP (210 MW), Dhaulashidh HEP (66 MW), Chanju-III HEP (48 MW), Deothal Chanju (30 MW) will be started during 2020-21.

Renukaji Dam Project (40 MW) has been declared as ‘National Project’ which will be built with the cost of Rs.6 thousand and 947 crore. Construction on the project will commence in 2020-21.
 Government of India has recommended a project to develop non conventional energy on sustainable basis to the World Bank for funding. Total cost of the project is about Rs.3 thousand and 200 crore. This project will help to strengthen the power generation, transmission and distribution sectors of the State especially in the difficult areas.

 Government is preparing a policy to provide one time relief to the power producers for speeding up execution of projects, which have been stalled for years.

 Subsidy of 2000 per KW:

 It is proposed to install Off-grid Solar Power Plants of the capacity of 250 Watts each in 1,000 households in Pangi Valley of Chamba district during 2020-21 to mitigate local electricity problems.
The Government has allocated Solar Power Plants with the capacity ranging from 250 KW to 500 KW to the bonafide residents of Himachal Pradesh with the aim to harness non-conventional clean energy and also to honour RPO (Renewable Purchase Obligation). The HPSEBL has been directed to purchase this power mandatorily through Power Purchase Agreement. to provide a subsidy of Rs.2,000 per KW to these power producers to ensure that these plants are commissioned at the earliest.

 During 2020-21, 8 new EHT schemes and 65 HW/LV distribution schemes are proposed for execution. The 8 EHT schemes are in Kothipura (AIIMS), Nadukhar, Nirath, Dudhli (Shimla), Moginand, Kasauli, Vaknaghat and Chakwan Khanni Industrial Park. The joint venture company of HPSEBL, the Himachal Renewables Ltd., in collaboration with the Solar Energy Corporation of India, will commission 2 MW Solar Power Plant with battery storage in Kaza by June, 2020-21.
In some of the areas of the State particularly, remote areas, people are facing problems of low voltage. In order to address these problems, the HPSEBL has already identified such areas. HPSEBL has started a scheme with a cost of Rs.158 crore with a target to complete it in 2020-21 to address the problems of low voltage in these areas.

  HPSEBL will recruit 3000 new employees:

 65,000 wooden poles are targeted to be replaced with new steel poles during 2020-21.
HPSEBL will recruit 3,000 new employees, mainly in the technical cadre, in 2020-21.
The State needs a robust transmission System to ensure that the produced power is taken to the consumers. Government has successfully completed 6 sub stations and 6 transmission lines with a total cost of Rs.1 thousand 381 crore. 6 sub stations with the capacity of 820 MVA and 200 circuit kilometre of transmission lines will be completed by the Himachal Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation in 2020-21. An amount of Rs.350 crore will be spent on these works.

 Subsidy of Rs. 480 crore for domestic and agricultural consumers in 2020-21. More efforts are required to be made to ensure continuous and quality power supply to the people living in remote areas of the State. This subsidy will be rationalized as per requirement.