Chandigarh: Faced with severe power shortage, the Haryana government on Monday announced forging alliance with Bhutan for setting up a 1,500-2,000 MW hydel power project in the neighbouring country.

The state government is eyeing 1,500-2000 megawatt power from Bhutan, which would be available over the next 4-5 years
from a new joint venture project to be set up there, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said in Chandigarh.

Bhutan has agreed in-principle to partner with the State of Haryana in harnessing its hydro power potential, he added. "The hydel power will be economical as compared to the thermal power," he told reporters in Chandigarh, adding that each MW approximately costs around Rs 6-7 crore depending on the terrain where the project is set up.
"The per megawatt costs also depends on whether you get the project on run-off-the-river or from the reservoir," he said. Hooda, who led a delegation to Bhutan on a two-day visit from December 14, said the nation had a potential of 14,000 MW more which can be exploited, out of which Haryana was eyeing 1,500-2,000 MW for its requirements in future.

Describing his Bhutanese visit as very fruitful, Hooda said Haryana and the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan have reached an understanding on pursuing a mutually beneficial economic collaboration across a number of sectors, especially power.

"Thus, Haryana has become the first state in the country to have traversed beyond the national frontiers and signed a mutually collaborative understanding with an independent nation state," he said. He said Haryana would also be engaging with Bhutan in agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry and livestock, industrial development, urban planning and infrastructure development sectors keeping in view the historical excellent relations between India and Bhutan.

"This has been possible on account of a very long and friendly relationship between India and Bhutan," Hooda said. Elaborating more about the power sector, "It has been my government's priority to make Haryana self reliant for meeting its power requirements and steps have been taken to create additional power generation capacity from a mere 4,033.60 MW in 2005 to 8,497.40 MW during a period of last seven years.

"However, finding that there have been problems associated with availability of sufficient coal for uninterrupted operations of our newly established power plants, and in view of the ever increasing need for additional power for the state’s development initiatives, we started looking at alternative measures."


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