The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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NHPC, Bengal in Purulia venture

Itanagar May 11: National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) will soon set up a joint venture company with the Bengal government to operate the Purulia and Turga pumped storage power projects.

Both projects are expected to generate 1,500 megawatt of power, of which 12 per cent will be given to the state government for its own use or sale to other utilities.

The central public sector undertaking will also set up a joint venture tourism company to develop places where it already has projects. NHPC chairman and managing director Yogendra Prasad said: “It is a project that we have on the drawing board and will soon take it up with the government and concerned ministries. The planned venture will be a separate company to develop tourism projects.

“We are also in discussions with government to create a special fund for development of roads in places where projects are to be set up. While in many place the Border Roads Organisation and other agencies have built the roads, still many inaccessible places need to be connected. It will also help connect remote areas with the main road network essential for development of tourism,” Prasad said.

Most projects developed by NHPC are in remote locations with picturesque beauty. Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh are among them.

India’s hydropower potential is 2,49,403 MW. The north-eastern region has a major share of that, around 63,257 MW. Only 15 per cent of the potential has been developed so far and 7 per cent is under various stages of harnessing.

The corporation has now embarked on an ambitious plan for harnessing over 25000 MW of hydroelectric power potential through a number of projects in the region. “NHPC has associated itself with the hydropower development in the region since its inception in 1975.” On the availability of resources Prasad said: “With a government equity of Rs 15,000 crore and net worth of Rs 20,000 crore, we can generate resources up to Rs 50,000 crore from the market. Funding has never been a problem with our projects.”

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