Uttarakhand Congress has started an agitation against a recent decision by the Narendra Modi-led Central government to disinvest in the Tehri Hydro-Development Corporation, a ‘Mini Navranta’ company of Uttarakhand, a decision that would affect more than 5000 employees.
Uttarakhand Congress party workers led by its president Pritam Singh staged a dharna at Tehri in protest against the move. The decision taken by the Union government to disinvest its stake completely has alarmed the employees and even the common residents of Uttarakhand. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) took the decision to disinvest its entire stake in THDC on November 21.
Speaking on the occasion, Pritam Singh, president of Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress Committee, said that it was an ill-advised move. He said that the people of Uttarakhand, particularly Tehri and Uttarkashi districts, have sacrificed a lot by giving up their hearths and homes for this project which had been doing a commendable job. But the decision to disinvest, he said, was shocking
Suryakant Dhasmana, senior vice-president of the state Congress unit said that although the stakes are reportedly being sold to National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), there was no need for that since THDC has been doing excellent work in power generation and proved itself by becoming a ‘Mini Navratna’ company.
He further said that this move is part of the overall strategy of the Modi government to sell off public sector units to his ‘industrialist friends’. He pointed out that the government is out to sell off BSNL, Air India, MTNL and other public sector undertakings.
THDC India Limited is a joint venture of Govt. of India and Govt. of Uttar Pradesh. The equity is shared in the ratio of 75:25 between the two governments. The company was incorporated in July 1988 to develop, operate and maintain the 2400 MW Tehri Hydro Power Complex and other hydro projects. The company has an authorised share capital of ₹4000 crore. THDCIL is a Mini Ratna Category-I and Schedule ‘A’ CPSE.
The initial mandate of THDCIL was to develop, operate and maintain the 2400 MW Tehri Hydro Power Complex (comprising of 1000 MW Tehri Dam & HPP, 1000 MW Tehri Pumped Storage Project & 400 MW Koteshwar HEP) and other hydro projects.
The total installed capacity of THDCIL presently is 1513 MW. THDCIL has two hydro generating stations, namely Tehri HPP (4X250 MW) and Koteshwar HEP (4X100 MW) and two operational Wind Power Plants in Gujarat, one at Patan (25X2 MW) and another at Devbhumi Dwarka (30X2.1 MW).
The corporation has grown into a multi-Project organization, with projects spread over various States as well as neighbouring country Bhutan.
THDCIL presently has a portfolio of 13 projects totalling to an installed capacity of 5539 MW under various stages of implementation/development.
The 1000 MW Tehri HPP was commissioned by THDCIL in 2006-07. The Tehri HPP (1000 MW) is a multipurpose project, providing electricity to the northern region, irrigation benefits to Uttar Pradesh, and drinking water to NCT of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Due to regulated releases from the Tehri storage reservoir, the existing downstream hydro projects of the state are also benefited by way of augmentation in generation at no additional cost to them.
The 400 MW Koteshwar HEP, downstream of Tehri, was commissioned in 2011-12. The 1000 MW Tehri Pumped Storage Plant, which is under construction, would utilize the Tehri and Koteshwar reservoirs as the upper and lower reservoir.
THDCIL is consistently profit making company since commissioning of Tehri Dam & HPP in the year 2006-07.
Suryakant Dhasmana said that a company with such credentials needs to be protected. He announced that the Congress party, which has already started an agitation against the move, will continue to oppose it tooth and nail.