Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday embarked on a visit to Mandi, also known as 'Chhoti Kashi', and inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of hydropower projects worth Rs 11,000 crore that will help boost the state's economy and provide additional power to the states.
One project that has been lying pending for around three decades will prove to be beneficial for Delhi, which will be able to receive around 500 million cubic metre water supply per year.
Donning a long woollen coat and hand gloves amidst chilly weather, Modi presided over the second groundbreaking ceremony of the Himachal Pradesh Global Investors' Meet that is expected to give a boost to investment in the region through the start of projects worth around Rs 28,000 crore.
The first groundbreaking ceremony was held in the state capital in December 2019 amid the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. A total of nearly 100 investors were present on the occasion.
State Chief Minister Jairam Thakur welcomed the Prime Minister by offering a Himachali cap and a shawl. A traditional artifact of Chamba made on silver was presented to Modi, who was accompanying his Cabinet minister Anurag Thakur, who belongs to the state.
Amidst recitation of Sanskrit 'shlokas', the events also marked the completion of the four years of the BJP government.
An official statement said the Prime Minister has constantly focussed on fully utilising the untapped potential of the resources available in the country and one of the steps in this regard has been to utilise optimally the hydropower potential in the Himalayan region.
The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of Renukaji Dam project. Lying pending for around three decades, the project was made possible through the "vision of cooperative federalism" of the Prime Minister, when six states -- Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Delhi -- were brought together by the Centre for making the project possible.
The 40 MW project will be built at a cost of around Rs 7,000 crore. It will generate electricity for the hill state and will provide 500 million cubic metre water supply per year to the national capital.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of the Luhri Stage 1 Hydro Power Project. The 210 MW project will be built at a cost of over Rs 1,800 crore. It will lead to generation of over 750 million units of electricity per year.
The modern and dependable grid support will prove beneficial to the surrounding states of the region as well.
Modi also laid the foundation stone of Dhaulasidh Hydro Power Project. This will be the first hydropower project of Hamirpur district. The 66 MW project will be built at a cost of over Rs 680 crore.
It will lead to generation of over 300 million units of electricity per year.
The Prime Minister inaugurated the Sawra-Kuddu Hydro Power Project. The 111 MW project has been built at a cost of around Rs 2,080 crore. It will lead to generation of over 380 million units of electricity per year, and help the state earn revenue worth over Rs 120 crore annually.
Himachal Pradesh is a special category state. Accordingly, it is entitled to financial assistance from the Centre in the ratio of 90 per cent grant and 10 per cent loan unlike non-special category states, which get a Central aid in the ratio of 30 per cent grant and 70 per cent loan.
The social indicators like literacy rate and rate of infant mortality at birth indicate that the state has better literacy rate and infant mortality rate than the all-India average.
Besides hydropower, the hill state's economy largely depends upon tourism and horticulture.