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No capacity addition to power generation root of crisis in NE

Written by: Staff
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Guwahati, Oct 28 (UNI) Union Power Secretary R V Shahi today maintained that no capacity addition to the power generation sector in the last decades by the regional governments has led to the current power shortage in the North East (NE).

The NE, as a whole, had a shortage of about 1150 MW currently, with Asom alone amounting to a shortage of 300 MW, he added.

He was talking to newsmen en route to New Delhi after concluding a two day meeting in Shillong with the NE power officials to review the present scenario in the region.

Mr Shahi informed that the region had an installed capacity of 2,300 MW. The closure of the 500 MW Bongaigaon plant in Asom ensured that 1,800 MW capacity was operational in the region.

''Of the total 1,800 MW generated in the region, 1,200 MW is generated by the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO).

The state governments have failed in adding capacity to the generation through their own ventures,'' he claimed.

''In the last 10 years, there had practically been no capacity addition to the power generation sector in NE barring a few small power plants. Even existing plants had to be closed down,'' he added.

Mr Shahi said slow processing of files at the state government-level was a major cause for the growth of the power sector. He urged the state governments to expedite clearances and other necessary formalities for setting up new ventures.

He informed that the NNEPCO would submit the proposal for a 480 MW power station at Margherita in Asom and hoped that the state government would decide on it within a month's time.

On meeting the power shortage in Asom, the Union power secretary informed that NTPC's Kahalgaon plant in the eastern part of the country would give 120 MW to the state from its unallocated quota, though the norm was to provide power from the quota to neighbouring states.

Mr Shahi said the state should ensure maximum benefit from the inter-state power trading agreement and improvement in inter-regional power transmission facilities.

''The states should be able to anticipate a coming power crisis and arrange for supply well ahead of the crunch time,'' he added.

UNI SG JYN AB PB RK1844

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