Shimla, Sep 27 (IANS) Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has refused to award a key hydel project in the state to the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Limited, saying that a new PSU would build it instead.
'The proposed 700 MW Loori hydel project will be built by a new Himachal Pradesh PSU,' he said here late Tuesday.
'I announce the formation of the Himachal Power Corporation (HPC), which will build the Loori project instead of SJVN,' added Singh.
The change of decision follows central government subsidiary SJVN's refusal to recruit a state cadre IAS official as director personnel, said political analysts.
SJVN recruited Rajinder Singh Katoch, head of the human resource department in the Hardwar unit of the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, to the post early Tuesday.
However, the chief minister's decision comes as a major setback to SJVN, which built the 1,500 MW Nathpa project in the state last year. SJVN also maintains and runs the project.
Last year the state had awarded the 434 MW Rampur project work to SJVN. The Loori project, too, had been expected to fall in its kitty.
At over 20,000 MW, the state has a quarter of the entire country's power potential and only a quarter of this has been tapped so far. Work is on by state and central PSUs and also private firms to tap the rest of the power at a fast pace.
The state has 25 percent equity in SJVN.