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APEN hits out at privatization plan by power deptt.
Correspondent Kohima, Aug 27(NPN):
Published on 28 Aug. 2009 1:09 AM IST
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The Power Department of Nagaland appears reluctant to accept funds to the tune of Rs.3000 crore from the Ministry of Power (MoP) for construction of two mega hydro project because of its preference for partnership with private firms. The startling disclosure was made by Er. T. S.Angami president of the Association of Power Engineers Nagaland (APEN) in his presidential address at APEN’s general conference held at the conference hall of the Chief Engineer’s office here today. He said that as per the Ministry of Power, the centrally funded Hydro-Projects, on completion, will be fully owned by the state government. However, if the projects were to be partnered with private parties, the latter would offer only 74% of the investment but would fully own the projects for the next 40 years. The only two other major potential hydro-electric-project identified in the state are Tizu-Zunki (150 MW) and Dikhu HEP (140 MW), he pointed out while reminding the Engineers that if the state could secure better deal in these two projects, it will not only be able to attain self sufficiency in power but also earn an additional revenue of Rs. 820 crore annually from sale of surplus power. Pointing to past decisions, he said the state’s Power department had “gifted away” the 75 MW Doyang Hydro-project to NEEPCO way back in the eighties due to resource constraint. Even after 30 years, the department appeared inclined to commit the a much bigger blunder in spite of better options, Er.T.S.Angami cautioned. He pointed out that the Doyang Hydro-project is fully owned by NEEPCO and not by the state as was made to believe. According to Er Angami, Nagaland is paying about 5% for its own “so called free power share” of the 12% of energy it receives. He also revealed that the state Power Department was attempting to build an underwater hydro-project somewhere in the state, in stages. The projects would be the first of their kind where two would be above the surface and remaining below. According to the APEN president, diversification of responsibilities was the only way out to enable the state power department perform effectively. He highlighted the need for reorganization and creation of key posts in the Directorate and field level. He also made various suggestions including stopping of ghost posting of engineers to non existing posts; imposition of strict disciplinary action for misappropriation of government revenue and errant officials and staff; strict quality control of electrical materials to avoid fatalities to public and staff. Other points included : re-strengthening the department service committee to prevent backdoor appointments and public complaint, ensure presence of official at their place of posting; providing adequate maintenance fund to all working divisions; resurrection of the dismantled Revenue branch in the directorate; dismantling of all exclusive Cells in the directorate to allow transparency and rational transfer and postings of officers. While lauding the state government for creating New & Renewable Energy (NRE), he urged the authority that the new department should be structured not only to generate energy alone but also to deliver and market the product to the consumers in a single window system. A separate memorandum in this regard was also submitted to the Chief Secretary who was the chief guest on the occasion. In his address, Chief Secretary Lalthara, called upon the engineers to dedicate their services in serving the people and urged them to always stick to quality control. He also said that the newly created Renewable Energy Department will be managed by power engineers except a Secretary and Minister. He also stressed on concentration for producing more energy. He also emphasized on the need for specialization by Engineers in different fields of energy production adding, the state government ready to provide support through financial aid at any cost if engineer wanted to go for new areas of specialization. Commissioner & Secretary, Power, R. Binchilo Thong, IAS who also spoke on the occasion stressed on the need for the department to expand it power transmission sufficiently.

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