Power minister demands justification of power allocation in NE

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Gangtok, Apr 26 (UNI) With 6000 MW power generation targeted from the NE by the Centre in the 11th Plan, Assam Power Minister and Chairman of North East Region Power Committee(NERPC) Pradyut Bordoloi today stressed on justification of power allocation to the Northeast by the Centre.

''NE states are asking for more share from the generation planned in the region. It would be improper to release power from this region without meeting the local demand,'' said Mr Bordoloi in the Fifth NERPC meeting held in Gangtok today.

''In this dilemma, no decision has been taken on capacity addition of transmission system that is required and also as to who will fund such transmission,'' he said.

Informing that the NE region is being projected as the storehouse of hydro-power with lot of more mega power projects being identified, the Chairman said, ''First the future demand of the NE region must be met and then the surplus power can be given to other states.'' ''Centre has to listen to us. It is a combined stand of all the Northeast states. This has to be made applicable,'' Mr Bordoloi said later at a press meet.

The Assam Power Minister expressed confidence that though the Northeast states are reeling under power shortage at present, things will be much better at the end of the 11th plan when several power projects will be commissioned. He also said thermal power projects should also be developed in healthy ratio to offset poor hydro power generation during lean season.

Another major stand taken during today's meet was that Sikkim should be a part of the NERPC. Sikkim, a member of the North East Council is not with NERPC but is a member of Eastern Region Power Committee.

''Sikkim is a major beneficiary of the NEC funds and Central packages meant for Northeast region. We have made it clear Sikkim should be a member of NERPC. We will take it up with the Centre,'' said Mr Bordoloi.

The Chairman pointed out that other NE states are being deprived of the hydro-power generated in Sikkim and also Bhutan, despite them being in close proximity with each other.

As of date, it is seen that power from hydro stations from Sikkim and Bhutan is being fed to eastern and other regions of the country, whereas NER states have been deprived in spite of they being in close proximity, said Mr Bordoloi.

''If Sikkim has surplus power, then it should be given to other NE states. Its our very logical and rightful demand,'' said Mr Bordoloi.

Sikkim is targeting generation of around 5000 MW hydro power by 2015.

Among the other stands adopted today by the NERPC was that the member states will seek Central funding in certain identified intra-state hydro projects and other works regarding transmission projects.

NEPRC will also demand special packages under Phase II Accelerated Power Development Programme for NER.

Nagaland power minister Doshehe Y. Sema and a host of representatives from the eight NER states attended today's meeting along with the project developers and Central agencies.


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