New Delhi: Power Ministry has set a target of adding 10,000 MW of hydro power generation capacity in the country in the next five years.
   
"Geological surprises in hydro are a major cause of concern but we are hoping to add 10,000 MW in the 12th plan period (2012-17)," Power Secretary Uma Shankar said.
   
The ministry is in constant dialogue with the Ministry of Environment and Forests for expediting environment clearance to hydel projects.
   
Hydro projects face many impediments in India from environment issues to land and local issues, therefore the gestation period or the commissioning cycle of these plants varies anywhere between 6-7 years under normal circumstances.
   
"In hydro projects sometimes when the work is half way, there are certain geological surprises which delay the progress of the project," he said.
   
At present, NHPC, which is country's largest hydro power producer, generates over 5,000 MW of electricity and a major chunk of the planned 10,000 MW capacity would be built by it.
   
The company has over 15,000 MW capacity programmed for the 12th plan of which 5,000 MW is under construction, as per data available on NHPC's website.
   
The hydro power generation capacity of the country stands at about 39,000 MW, which is 20 per cent of the total installed generation capacity of 1,90,600 MW.
   
Various private players like Lanco, Jaypee, GVK etc. are setting up hydel projects in India.

(Agencies)