Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh cabinet on Wednesday reallocated a multi-million dollar hydropower project, that was under litigation, to Reliance Energy Ltd, an official said here.
The cabinet agreed to allot 960 MW Jhangi-Thopan-Powari Hydel Project in Kinnaur district to Reliance Energy Ltd, a government spokesperson told IANS.
He said that if Reliance Energy does not accept the offer, the project may be re-advertised for fresh bidding.
The cabinet meeting was chaired by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.
The Thopan-Powari-Jangi hydropower project, one of the most viable ones, requires an investment of over Rs.7,000 crore and aims to generate 4,000 million units per year.
It requires at least nine years for the project to go on stream, say government officials.
The project was earlier allotted to Netherlands-based Brakel Corp in 2008. It later included Adani Power as a consortium partner in the project.
But the Himachal Pradesh High Court annulled it on October 7, 2009, on a plea by Reliance Infrastructure, one of the bidders.
Brakel moved the Supreme Court but withdrew to pursue remedies suggested by the apex court in its order on April 1 last year.
Reliance Infra’s petition challenging the state’s decision not to allot the project to it is pending in the apex court. The high court wanted the state government to take a “fresh decision as to whether it wants to re-advertise the project or wants to act on the basis of the old tender”.
The weather is ‘cosy’ these days in hills of Himachal Pradesh compared to the Northern plains where dense fog is screening out the sun.
The hilly state is receiving regular sunshines and for a longer duration.
The weather in picturesque tourist resorts of Shimla, Kufri, Narkanda, Kasauli, Chail, Dharamsala, Palampur and Manali is ‘warm’ and perfect for a break from the biting chill of the plains where the sun has largely been fogged out.
“What a mellow sunshine is in Shimla,” remarked Kriti Aggarwal, a tourist from Delhi.
She said it was a great relief from the prevailing fog that did not allow sun rays to penetrate over ground levels.
Her friend Kanika Gupta added: “For hours, we relaxing and basking under the sun. Even nights are cosy here compared to the plains.”
Manmohan Singh, director of Shimla’s meteorological department, told IANS on Monday that most of the hill destinations have a pleasant weather owing to long sunny days compared to the plains.
“The maximum temperature in the hills is two-three degrees below average but due to prevailing sunny days the temperature will see rise and will be normal in a day or two,” he said.
According to him, dry weather would largely prevail in the state till December 31, ruling out the possibility of snow and rain across the state.
The humidity level over 80 per cent causes fog. In the the hills it’s around 50 per cent currently, compared to 80 per cent in the hills.
In Shimla, located around 7,000 feet above sea level, the maximum temperature on Sunday was 13.8 degrees Celsius, while the minimum was 3.6 degrees on Monday.
The night temperature in Dharamsala was 2.6 degrees Celsius, whereas popular tourist resort Manali saw a low of minus three degrees.
At 14.3 degrees below freezing point, Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district was the coldest in the state. Kalpa, some 250 km from the state capital, saw a low of minus 2.9 degrees Celsius.
In Chandigarh, the maximum temperature was 0.6 degree Celsius less than Shimla’s on Sunday, with the minimum hovering around 9 degrees Celsius.