Union Cabinet: Rs 1810 crore Luhri Hydro Power Project approved

On November 4, 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi approved the Rs 1810 crore investment proposal of 210 MW of Luhri Stage I Hydro Power Project. The hydro power project is to be constructed on River Sutlej. The project will generate 758.2 million units of electricity annually.

Key Highlights

The project is to be implemented by the Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited. It is to be implemented in Build-Own-Operate-Maintain mode. In order to implement the project, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Government of Himachal Pradesh and Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited during the event “Rising Himachal”. It is a Global Investor Meet that was inaugurated by PM Modi in November 2019.

The project is also being supported by GoI. The GoI is to provide a grant of Rs 66.19 crores.

Sutlej River

It is the longest of the five rivers flowing through Punjab namely Beas, Jhelum, Chenab and Ravi. It is a tributary of Indus. The waters of Sutlej are allocated to India under Indus Water Treaty. The river has several major hydroelectric power points namely Bhakra Dam (1,325 MW), Nathpa Jhakri Dam (1,500 MW) and Karcham Wangtoo Hydroelectric Plant (1,000 MW).

Sutlej-Yamuna Link

There is a proposal to build a 214 km long canal linking Sutlej and Yamuna rivers. This was proposed for the purpose of irrigation and freight navigation. When connected, the link will enable inland shipping between East and West coast.

Hydroelectric Power in India

India has hydropower potential of 1,45,320 MW. However, only 45,400 MW is being utilised. The share of hydropower capacity in the country has decreased from 50.36% in 1960s to around 13% in 2018-19. This is mainly because of increase in coal, nuclear and solar based power. The decline is mainly because the DISCOMs are reluctant to sign Power Purchase Agreements Hydro Power.

Hydropower provides water security, flood moderation benefits, irrigation.

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