SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh government has formed a high-powered committee to remove bottlenecks in the execution on small hydro electric projects (SHPs) in the state so that work on these could be expedited in a time-bound manner. The committee would submit its report within a month.

Addressing a daylong meet on “Speedy development of small hydro electric power projects in H.P,” organised by Bonafide Hydro Power Developers Association, HP, in collaboration with HIMURJA and Union ministry of new and renewable energy here on Saturday, chief minister Virbhadra Singh said that though Himachal Pradesh was a pioneer in the field of hydro power development, much was needed to be done to exploit its full potential within a stipulated time.

Singh said he has always given priority to the power sector and it was during his previous tenure that the hydro power policy of HP was notified in 2006.

The committee, headed by the chairman of HP Electricity Regulatory Commission, would look into the problems faced by SHP developers and make recommendations to simplify the procedures for granting various clearances, the CM said. “I am aware of problems being faced by independent power producers (IPPs). The committee’s suggestions would be placed before the cabinet for approval, so as to help execute the projects speedily,” he said.

The committee is likely to recommend that clearances should be given within a specific period and concerned officers should be held responsible for any delay or laxity. “Sanctions and approvals should be ensured within a stipulated time by the concerned authorities. Panchayats and local people should also cooperate with SHPs, as they would also be benefited by the projects,” Singh said.

In turn, the IPPs should also take care of social responsibilities and be considerate towards the genuine demands of local people, he added.