Dehradun: The Union Power Ministry has refused to give 12 percent royalty to Uttarakhand for the 1000mw Tehri Pumped Storage Hydropower Plant (PSP).

The state government has been left stumped by the Power Ministry claim to turn down the royalty on grounds that recycled water is used for power generation. In addition, the Ministry has also maintained that there was no public demand or outrage for the royalty.

Any state which houses a hydro power plant is provided a 12 percent royalty from the Centre. Later the royalty was increased to 13 percent. The logic behind increasing the royalty was to use the additional amount for the development of the adjoining areas.

As water resource is a state subject, there is a provision to provide royalty to the concerned state. Despite the stipulated norms, the Centre has decided not to give the royalty to Uttarakhand for the Tehri plant.

 With massive industrialisation during the past few years, the state is facing power shortage in the range of 2 to 5 million units per day.

As far as the loss due to the increase in royalty is concerned, the Centre and THDC both are in safe zone.

According to GP Patel, MD of Uttarakhand Jal Vidhut Nigam Limited (UJVNL), “Power generated from water is cheap and pollution free. Whether it is a government or a private company, approximately 88 percent of the total investment is repatriated through electricity tariff.” He also added, “Therefore, there is a lot of extra energy to save and consume.”

The Tehri PSP was approved by the Government of India in July 2006.

JPN/Bureau