Sikkim seeking to exploit hydel power potential

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Gangtok, Dec 25 (ANI) : The Teesta River, nature's gift to the state of Sikkim, has immense potential for the generation of hydroelectric power.

The state is now seeking to harness this potential and become self reliant in power.

Sikkim has large untapped potential for hydel power generation.

It has set the deadline of 2014 to become self-reliant in power.

Currently, the region has an installed capacity 100 MW and according to a study the state has the capacity to produce 100,000 MW.

The main focus for exploiting hydel power is the Teesta River along with its many tributaries.

"By 2015, we will generate 5000 MW. Out of that we will get 12% free power and we will be getting annually around 1500 crores of revenue from it, at a calculation of Rs 2-3 per unit and we will be getting dividend from the Joint Venture projects also. (Insert) Sikkim will be one of the richest states in the country, said Pema Wangchen, Chief Engineer, Energy and Power department Sikkim.

Five hydel power projects are in the last stages of completion, whereas work for other projects with capacity to produce 3000 MW is underway.

They are expected to be complete by 2015.

National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) has already commissioned Ranjeet Power station of 60 MW, Teesta Stage V power station of 510 MW and Teesta Stage IV of 520 MW.

By building 29 hydel power stations by 2015 under public-private partnership, Sikkim can be able to generate 5000 MW of power.

This will also generate employment opportunities for local youth.

"As far as employment is concerned, we should have technical trained people and those should undergo certain training for operation and technical management of the hydel power project. So I think, if our people are ready, projects can give a lot of employment nearly 80% once they are commissioned," Wangchen added.

India's power deficit is expected to widen in the current fiscal year to 12.6 per cent from 11.9 in the 2008-09 fiscal year.

And, Sikkim's move to be self-reliant in power production will help the country close the demand and supply gap of power. (ANI)

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