Thursday, August 23, 2007

Assam Wants Increased Power Share from Sikkim Projects

50 pc power from Central projects demanded

GUWAHATI, Aug 22 – The Assam Government has demanded that the North East States should get at least 50 per cent of the power generated by the projects established by Central sector undertakings in the region. This demand was placed by the State Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi in the fourth meeting of the North East Regional Power committee, held under the chairmanship of the Arunachal Chief Minister in Itanagar.Addressing the meeting, Bordoloi said that recently the Central Electricity Authority had recommended that the region should get 35 per cent of the power generated by the power projects in the region should be allotted to the States of North East. He said that the recommendation was not acceptable and the region must get at least 50 per cent of the power generated by the power projects set up in the region. He said that only availability of adequate power would help the region to attain industrial growth.Bordoloi said that Assam already received commitment for allocation of 600 MW of power from the Lower Subansiri project and 300 MW from the Kameng Hydro power project and demanded that the state should get 6 per cent of the power generated by the units at free of cost, as Assam would have to face the adverse effects of the projects. The State Power Minister pointed out that there were reports of excess water release from Ranganadi power project creating floods in the districts of Dhemaji and Lakhimpur, while, release of excess water from the Hydro power projects of Bhutan created havoc in lower Assam districts. He expressed the view that these issues should be addressed through proper study. He said that the Government of Bhutan is laying a power transmission line though Rangiya sub station to transmit power to other parts of India and demanded that Assam should get a share of the power to be transmitted through the State.Bordoloi said that over dependence on power generated in the hydropower projects created scarcity of power during the winter season and pointed out that this trend should be changed and allocation from the thermal power projects should be increased. In this context, he demanded that Assam must get at least 60 per cent of the power to be produced in the thermal power station, which is being implemented by the NTPC in Bongaigaon. As Sikkim is now considered part of the North East, the other States of the region must get an allocation from the power projects set up in that state by different Central sector organizations, he demanded.