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Centre should welcome private investment in Arunachal: Apang

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Itanagar, Mar 1 (UNI) Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Gegong Apang today said the Centre should welcome private investment of around Rs 25,000 crore in the power sector in the state, known as the 'power storehouse' of the country.

Mr Apang told UNI that while Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed recently with three power giants for generating 4,800 MW, many other private players were eager to invest money to generate hydropower, estimated by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) to be about 50,000 MW.

This would supplement New Delhi's plan to generate additional power of 50,000 MW by 2012, he asserted. Other investors would be tapped through global bidding, disclosed power secretary Tumke Bagra.

When asked about Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's objection not to allow PSUs, like National Hydro-electric Power Corporation Ltd(NHPC) to take up power projects in the state, Mr Apang clarified that the PSUs did not take part in the bidding floated by state's power department.

The Chief Minister said ''The private players have consented to commission the projects on a lease basis for 40 years and at a higher free power share of 12 to 19 per cent, while the PSUs declined to hike the share and wanted perpetual ownership of the projects. The state has to protect its interest''.

The projects are scheduled to be completed within eight years, Mr Apang informed.

''The companies have agreed to provide compensation to the affected people for their land as well as rehabilitation, besides meeting various social obligations and job reservation for the locals,''the Chief Minister added.

On the proposed draft of CEA to develop power highway to wheel away the additional hydropower from the North Eastern region, Mr Apang said the Centre should take up construction of national and state grids as in investment, which would accrue benefit to the region as well as the nation.

UNI XC-UPB-SP-ARB RS1509

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