Himachal is extremely rich in hydel resources. The state has about 25%
of the national potential in this respect. It has been estimated that
about 20,300MW of hydel power can be generated in the State by constructing
various major, medium, small and mini/micro hydel projects on the five
river basins. The state government has been giving the highest priority
for its development, as hydel generation can not only meet the growing
need of power for industry, agriculture and rural electrification, but
can also be the biggest source of income to the state by way of sale of
electricity to the neighbouring states.
The most prestigious and major project on river Sutlej
in the state is the Nathpa Jhakri (1500M.W). It is constructed in collaboration
with the central government. The project is funded by the World Bank.
The foundation stones were laid of 300MW Chamera II Hydel
Project in June 1999, of 2051 MW Parbati Hydel Power Project in December
1999, and of 800 MW Kol Dam project in June 2000. Other major ongoing
projects are : Bhaba Augmentation Scheme, Ghanvi Hydro Electric Project
(22.5 MW), Larji Hydel Project (126MW) and Khauli Hydro Electric Project
(12MW). The state government has given eight hydel projects for private
sector participation. These are Baspa Hydro Electric Project (300MW),
Holi Hydro Electric Project (231 MW), Dhamwari Sunda Hydro Electric Project
(70MW), Project (15MW), Allian Duhangan Hydro Electric Project (192 MW),
Swara-Kuddu (162MW) and Budhil (70MW).
The state has electrified each one of its 16,807 inhabited
villages. It is very impressive, looking at the location of its villages
in far off areas and their isolation.
The water resources also provide valuable food in the
shape of fish. A national fish seed farm and fish farmers development
agencies have been set up. A pilot project is being set up with Norwegian
assistance for commercial trout farming in Kulu valley.