Cabinet relaxes hydropower policy – Chandigarh Tribune
Tribune News Service
Shimla, September 5
Paving way for some important changes in the hydropower policy 2006, the Cabinet today gave nod for transfer of shares in hydro-power projects up to five MW by Himachalis to non-Himachalis after levying of fees and it has also been decided to provide 100 units of free electricity per month to the families affected by power projects.
The decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting held here today under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. With this decision now Himachalis will be able to sell or transfer 49 per cent equity shares to non-Himachalis at any stage after allotment of projects up to 2 MW capacity and full disinvestment after two years of commissioning of the projects. Similarly, in case of bona fide Himachalis to whom projects up to two MW to five MW have been allotted, they can sell or transfer 51 percent equity share to non-Himachalis at any stage after allotment of projects and full disinvestment after two years of commissioning of the projects. However, it has been decided to levy some appropriate fee for transfer of equity.
The issue of allotment of 960 MW Jangi Thopan power project was on the Cabinet agenda but it was withdrawn without discussion. The Cabinet is also learnt to have extended the time period for completion of commercial housing project in relaxation of Section 118 of Tenancy and Land Reform Act.
The Cabinet also accorded approval to giving 100 units of free electricity per month to the families affected by projects as per the subsidized tariff determined by Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (HPERC). Besides, the Cabinet gave its nod to cancel the four projects of Joiner-II (3MW) in Chamba, Kanda (0.80 MW) in Sirmaur, Rawin (1 MW) in Shimla and Chahod (2 MW) in Mandi.
Approval was also given for enhancement of honorarium of Jal Rakshaks (water guards) engaged through Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) from Rs 1,350 to Rs 1,500 per month. As many as 2,220 Jal Rakshaks would benefit from this decision, putting an additional burden of Rs. 8.50 crore annually on the state exchequer.
The Cabinet also approved creation of 855 posts of various categories for Shri Lal Bhadur Shastri Medical College, at Ner Chowk in Mandi district. Besides this, approval was also given for creation of more than 300 posts in other departments. The Cabinet also gave nod to upgrade Civil Hospital Jawalamukhi to the level of 75-bed Civil Hospital.
Besides, it was also decided to provide 35 kg of ration to the Above Poverty Line (APL) families in tribal areas of the state. A decision was taken to provide all three pulses to all the ration card holders irrespective of the number of units on the cards.
The Cabinet gave its approval to open sub-tehsils at Sarahan and at Taklech in Rampur Sub-Division of Shimla district. It approved to open new Hydro Power Engineering College Bandla in district Bilaspur.
The Cabinet approved to take over the services of teaching and non-teaching staff of erstwhile privately managed Jawalaji Degree College, Jawalamukhi and Deen Dayal Mahesh Degree College, Sugh-Bhatoli in district Kangra which now would be named as Government Degree College Sugh- Bhatoli.
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