By R.K. Goyal
NHPC came into existence in the year 1975 with the objective of playing a vital role in lighting the country with clean power, i.e. hydropower. Today NHPC is a Schedule ?A?- enterprise of the Government of India with an authorised share capital of Rs 15,000 crore and an investment base of over Rs 20,000 crore. In its existence of less than 30 years, NHPC has become a major organisation for hydro-power development in India, with the capability to undertake all activities ranging from ?concept to commissioning? in relation to setting-up of hydro projects.
NHPC is a consistently profit-making organisation. The net profit for the year 2003-04 was Rs 621.38 crore. In terms of performance, as per the MoU signed with the Ministry of Power, Government of India, NHPC has been achieving ?excellent? rating for the last nine consecutive years.
NHPC has set the best example of ?nurturing the society that sustains us? by serving the nation while earning profits for the organisation. The concept of public sector undertakings has always been to serve the country and its people.
NHPC has nine commissioned power stations with a total installed capacity of 3,350 MW, which include seven units of 125 MW each of Indira Sagar Project (a joint venture with the state government of Madhya Pradesh). Power generated at these power stations is supplied to 23 states/Union Territories. NHPC plans to add about 30,000 MW of power by the Twelfth Five-Year Plan period. With its growth in size and operations, NHPC has steadily increased its investment on corporate social responsibility as well. Each of the projects/power stations carries out socially beneficial activities in the nearby areas.
As part of its environmental consciousness, in NHPC, comprehensive environment impact assessment (EIA) studies are conducted, covering all aspects of environment (land, water, air, socio-economic areas, etc.). Based on the findings of the EIA studies, requisite environmental management plans, viz. catchment area treatment plan (CAT), afforestation, conservation of biodiversity, restoration of quarry areas, landscaping, resettlement and rehabilitation plan, etc. are framed and implemented. These measures are approved by the Ministry of Environment and Forest before investment sanction is accorded.
NHPC implements compensatory afforestation schemes in terms of the guidelines of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Besides this, large-scale voluntary afforestation is also undertaken by NHPC at its various projects. NHPC has planted approximately 80 lakh plants in all its projects till date. NHPC is also developing herbal parks at every project site.
All necessary steps to conserve the biodiversity of an area are being taken by NHPC. Detailed studies are carried out with the help of experts and important species getting affected are listed, including those which could be rare/endangered/endemic. Necessary conservation plans with proper financial provision are formulated in association with local expert agencies and the same are implemented in a true spirit.
Further, NHPC avoids areas in the victinity of wildlife sanctuaries for birds and animals when starting hydro projects.