Norms stringent, cumbersome for getting environment clearances: NHPC

With many projects stuck, state- owned NHPC has said stringent norms as well as cumbersome procedures are leading to delay in getting environmental and forest clearances.

New Delhi: With many projects stuck, state- owned NHPC has said stringent norms as well as cumbersome procedures are leading to delay in getting environmental and forest clearances.

Besides the hydel power producer has said that land acquisition process for "infrastructure works as well as for project's components, including submergence is quite cumbersome and time consuming".

NHPC's 10 proposed hydel projects, together having generation capacity of 8,800 MW, are awaiting clearances, as per its website.

"Stringent norms and cumbersome procedures for getting Environment clearance, Forest clearance and clearance from National Board for Wild Life (wherever applicable) lead to delay in obtaining clearance of projects, which may adversely affect the capacity addition programme," according to NHPC's annual report for 2013-14 period.

At present, NHPC has an installed capacity of 6,507 MW.

In the last financial year, NHPC saw its net profit after tax drop to Rs 1,218.75 crore from Rs 2,617.41 crore recorded during 2012-13 period.

Apart from clearance hurdles, the utility has said it is facing stiff competition from independent power producers and other competitors in allotment of new projects.

Further, NHPC has said that projects/ power stations located at sensitive border areas witness law & order problems as well.

"Militant and extremist groups of the areas quite often target NHPC, perceiving it to be a government representative... The projects/ power stations located in border areas quite often become reference points for differences in international relations," the report said.

It also noted that many hydro projects may get delayed or abandoned due to inter-state river disputes.

"Water being a state subject, state governments are demanding higher share of free power and other incentives, resulting in higher tariff," the report said.

These are among the factors perceived by the company's management as "threats/ risks/ weaknesses in construction of hydro power projects".

Meanwhile, in his letter to shareholders, that is part of the annual report, NHPC Chairman and Managing Director R S T Sai efforts to diversify into thermal, wind and solar power has started fetching results in India and overseas.

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