Himachal Pradesh entered into power banking agreement with neighbouring states Punjab, Haryana and Delhi as the hydropower generation in the state has dipped by around 25 percent after several water channels froze at high altitudes.
Under the Reverse and Forward banking arrangements, the hill state which battles with power shortage in winter due to freesing of water in intense cold conditions, would get back the electricity it gave in summer to the neighbouring states.
“To meet the shortage, HP will get 270 million unit power from Punjab and Haryana in return of the same quantity of electricity given to them during July-August,” power regulation director, Sunil Grover said.
The state witnesses roughly about 1000 million unit of power shortage in the winter, he said. Additional electricity will start coming to the hill state in December and January under this agreement, he added.
In addition under Forward Electricity Banking pact, HP will also get an additional 400 million unit from Punjab and Haryana which would be returned to them in the next summer, Grover said.
“Electricity has already started coming to the state under the arrangements since last week” he said. Besides this, HP is also expecting about 350 million unit of electricity from the Centre under its unallocated quota in winter, he added.
The Himachal Pradesh government had already sought more power allocation from the central pool.Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has recently written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urging him to allocate 400 MW power to the state on a regular basis, which would help the hill state meet the soaring power demand during winter, a government statement said. In the letter, Dhumal said out of 32,000 MW power generated from eight ultra mega power projects across the country, the state had not been allocated any power share.
"The demand for power has gone up in the recent past due to rapid industrialisation in the state. During the past three years, the demand during the winter months (November to March) has increased from 2.8 billion units to five billion units," . Sources in the electricity board said the power generation had already come down by 25, as the winter had started.
Himachal Pradesh has a huge potential for generating 21,000 MW hydropower, of which only one-third has been exploited so far. It plans to tap about 12,000 MW by the 2012.