The Kullu District is a typical high-mountain environment with valley bottom elevation in the Manali area of about 2000 m and major summits that rise to 6500 m. This topography offers vast potential for hydroelectric development. In recent years the demand for power in India has exceeded supply, especially in the northern region, resulting in rapid exploitation of the hydropower potential of Himachal Pradesh (HP). The government of HP established the HP Energy Development Agency to encourage private sector investment in small hydro projects (3 MW and less) and to assist proponents by smoothing the process of project approval. The present study makes conclusions relevant to environmental asessment (EA) screening based on several cases in the Kullu District.
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