New Delhi: In a bid to foster development of hydro sector, the Power Ministry has taken up the issue of environmental and forest clearances related to hydel projects with the Environment Ministry.

Even though India is estimated to have a hydro power potential of about 1,50,000 MW, only about 39,000 MW of hydro projects are operational while many are stuck at various developmental stages.

A senior official said the Ministry earlier this month took up the issue of environmental and forest clearances regarding hydel projects with the Environment Ministry.

"A bunch of issues have been discussed with the Environment Ministry. The discussions have been encouraging," Devendra Chaudhry, Additional Secretary in the Power Ministry, said on Thursday.

Stating the government is working sincerely to address the issues, he also urged the private sector to wake up to the need of developing the country's hydro power sector.

"Private sector needs to wake up. They need to be aware of (hydro power sector)... We have to find a way as to how to understand and take care of the effect (of hydro projects) in terms of its impact on the environment," he noted.

Besides, the Power Ministry is working on simplifying the procedures related to setting up of hydro power projects.

"There is multiplicity of examination of same issues (with regard to hydro projects) such as cumulative impact on environment... We will address (them) shortly," Chaudhry said at an event organized by industry body Assocham.

According to him, about 13,000 MW of hydro projects are under construction.

"We are at a crucial juncture in the development of hydro power," he said.

Hydro energy accounted for about 18 per cent of the total installed power generation capacity of 2,23,348 MW at the end of March this year.


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