To solve power woes in NE states, Centre signs deal with NHPC, Arunachal govt
In a bid to boost India’s ‘Act East’ policy in the energy sector, the Centre has signed a power purchase agreement between the Government of Arunachal Pradesh and NHPC Limited for supply of power from the 2000 MW Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project.
North-East India has huge hydro potential and the state governments have a major role in hydro-projects by way of facilitating land acquisition and implementing the resettlement and rehabilitation plans, union minister of power RK Singh said.
A review of the power sector in the North East regions was held by Union power minister RK Singh on Tuesday. The review meeting was attended by chief secretaries and principal secretaries of power of North-Eastern States in Guwahati.
“Development of North-Eastern India is on high priority of the Union Government and a well developed power sector is a prerequisite to the economic development in these states”, said RK Singh.
Recalling the achievements made during the past 3-4 years in the power sector, he, however, cautioned that concerted efforts will have to be made to make the system sustainable.
“In order to redeem our pledge for 24/7 power, we will have to reduce losses and make the DISCOMS viable” he said.
He cited the example of some states which had huge commercial losses but have been able to bring down the losses to 15% or below.
Singh also urged North Eastern states to adopt smart and prepaid meters to avoid power theft. “Grant for Central Government schemes will be made available to only those states who undertake reforms, viz, reduction of losses etc, Singh said.
He also called upon all stakeholders to work in close coordination so as to optimally harness the hydro potential. “Development of hydro projects in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh had contributed to the prosperity of those states. Similarly, NE states can reap long term benefits out of developed hydro projects, he added.
During the meeting, various power sector schemes of the Centre were also reviewed including Centre’s Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS), Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) and R-APDRP.
Singh added that new projects worth Rs 1797.43 crore have been sanctioned under IPDS for the region.