Himachal for strict implementations of safety norms at hydro projects

Shimla/June 10
Learning lessons from Mandi mishap in which 24 engineering students were washed away after release of water from Larji dam, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Tuesday directed the officials to take extra-precautions for averting any mishap in future while discharging water from all dams in the State.
“Safety norms should be strictly enforced and before releasing the water, announcement should be made through vehicles down the stream besides use of hooters,” Singh said.
Singh said that lesson had to be learnt from the Larji dam mishap and every precaution should be taken in future by all concerned departments. He said that fencing on two-three kilometers stretch would be done on all Dams besides other sensitive and dangerous zones and proper sign boards would be installed at such areas. “A high level enquiry had been ordered and stern action would be taken against those found negligent or defaulters for this incident,” he said.
The Chief Minister directed the authorities to ensure timely completion of all ongoing hydro power projects in the State adding that any delay results in cost acceleration of both project work and electricity as well. The state government had 27,436 MW identified hydel potential and efforts were being made to harness this potential which would be an important source for the revenue generation to the state.
Singh said that vacant posts of Linemen and T-Mate would be filled up on priority at circle level through single day interview to provide employment opportunity to the local youth.
“The government had taken a decision to fill up the posts of Assistant Engineers, Junior Engineer’s and draughtsman of PWD, I&PH and MPP and Power through joint interviews for which respective departments would submit the details of vacancies,” he said.
He said that the work of preparing Cumulative Environment Impact Assessment (CEIA) reports for all five river basins in the State was in progress. CEIA studies on Sutlej basin had been already completed and the final report had been submitted while studies on Chenab, Beas, Ravi and Yamuna basins were in progress at various levels.
The Chief Minister said that the recommendation of the committee constituted for simplification of procedure for grant of NOCs and clearances by Departments and Gram Panchayats, which was accepted by the Government, had resulted in redressing the time taken in the execution of hydro power projects. He also directed the Department to positively solve the issues raised by the local people in the project areas in order to allay their fears so that construction of power project can be carried out with the local people support.
Singh said that 5482 beneficiaries of 14 panchayats of Chamera-III (231 MW) project area would be provided cash incentives to the tune of Rs. 1.83 crore on account of sale of one percent power for the period with effect from July, 2013 to March 31, 2013. This will be even every year from the sale of electricity during the life time of the project.
The Chief Minister asked the HPSEBL to explore the possibilities of laying underground electric cables especially in tribal areas of Lahaul-Spiti district in order to speed up the work on transmission lines.
He directed that transformers should be set up in those areas which were suffering low voltage problem and also asked the authorities to take appropriate steps to replace the old transformers.