NC Hills Autonomous Council demands hike from NEEPCO

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Guwahati, Aug 07 (UNI) The NC Hills Autonomous Council(NCHAC) has asked the Northeast Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) to pay more as land revenue for the Kopili Hydro Electric Project (KHEP) at Umrangso.

Presently, the NEEPCO is paying Rs three per bigha annually to the NCHAC as land revenue, which is much lower than the prevailing land rates in the NC Hills.

Further, the Council authorities have demanded 12 per cent of the power as revenue from the KHEP.

Currently, NEEPCO pays this 12 percent (six percent each) to the Assam and Meghalaya governments for the project.

Chief Executive Member of the NCHAC Depolal Hojai said, ''Since the KHEP is located in NC Hills district, the administration of land revenue is vested with the NCHAC as per Para three and 12 of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. Hence, the Council is the proper authority to receive the 12 per cent of the total power generated by the NEEPCO.'' The Council has also demanded a surcharge of six per cent on the total power generated from the Kopili hydro project, besides providing more employment to local youths.

It has urged the NEEPCO to provide technical training to local youths of the hill district at their own cost and recruit them in the company.

A few rounds of meetings have already been held between the NEEPCO officials and the Executive Committee of the Council to sort out the issues.

Another round of meetings is scheduled later this month in Guwahati.

''We are pursuing the issues vigorously with the NEEPCO as we have not benefited much from the Kopili Hydro Electric Project.

While the land revenue has jumped several times in the last three decades, the NEEPCO is sill paying the Council only Rs three per bigha, which is very low,'' Mr Hojai said.

He lamented that though the NEEPCO was earning profits from the hydro electric project at Umrangso, no local has been employed.

The 250 MW Kopili Hydro Electric Project at Umrangso was commissioned in 1981.

UNI MT DPM SS1144

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