Govt to allow DoED to issue licences to mid-sized hydrosThe government is all set to authorise the Department of Electricity Development (DoED) to award licences to mid-sized hydropower projects in a bid to cut down procedural hassles.
The government is all set to authorise the Department of Electricity Development (DoED) to award licences to mid-sized hydropower projects in a bid to cut down procedural hassles.
The Energy Ministry on Tuesday amended the Electricity Rules 1993 to allow the DoED to award survey, generation, transmission and distribution licences to projects up to 100MW capacities. “I have already signed the amendment,” said Energy Minister Janardan Sharma. “I will take the amended rules to the Cabinet for final approval soon.” Earlier, the department had to take the ministry’s approval to award such licences, which was quite a lengthy process. Under the new rule, the director general of the DoED will have to authority to award the licences.
This new provision will significantly reduces procedural hassles, according to ministry officials. “Once the DoED sends a document to the ministry recommending for the license, it travels through several desks for months,” said a ministry official. “The file has to go through at least six units before the final approval is given by the ministry. The new rule will reduce the time by at least two-three months.”
The new rule will also authorise the DoED to change project capacities and scrap the licences. However, in the case of storage-type and multipurpose projects, the older provision will prevail.
“The paper work involved in the licensing process was also time-consuming for senior ministry officials,” said the ministry source. “So we floated the idea to former Energy Minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi. He immediately agreed and, we initiated the amendment process.”