The remotest state in the country, Arunachal Pradesh is also the one with the highest hydropower potential of 50,000 megawatt. Belatedly the state government is making a proactive effort to woo private players to set up power projects there.
India has a total hydroelectric potential of 1,50,000 MW, of which it has exploited only 17 per cent. The National Electricity Policy reiterates that maximum emphasis would be laid on the development of the feasible hydropower potential in the country.
While the Government of Arunachal Pradesh has taken some steps, there are still a host of issues that need attention for the state to become the frontrunners in this sector, a senior Power Ministry official who did not wish to be identified said.
Among the major concerns the policies and guidelines in context of development of hydropower and matching evacuation systems, the state government has highlighted larger public-private-partnership and a need to look at Hydropower policy in a framework that is not thermal power centric.
Arunachal Pradesh will hold a national workshop in the National Capital on Saturday “Putting Hydro Power Development on the fast track with special reference to Arunachal Pradesh”. The Union Minister of Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, deputy, chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahuluwalia, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Gegong Apang, Government officials – Central and State, private players, Financial Institutions and independent power producers across the country are likely to attend the workshop.
At a recent meeting with the Power Ministry officials, Apang had pointed to the National Electricity Policy (NEP) released in February 2005, that had revealed that just 23,488 MW hydro generation capacity is in place against the potential of 1, 50,000 MW.
NEP has also highlighted that there is mere 17 per cent utilization of the hydro potential, against 58 per cent achieved by Norway, 41 per cent achieved by Canada and 31per cent achieved by Brazil. China, too, is developing its hydro potential at breathtaking pace.
But India has just prepared ‘draft’ pre-feasibility reports for 132 schemes (37,378 MW) and ‘final’ pre-feasibility reports for 103 schemes (31,150 MW). It is claimed that Power Ministry is preparing detailed project reports for 33,000 MW.