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NE power ministers call for more funds

Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh inaugurating the 8th North Eastern Regional Power Committee meeting in Imphal on Tuesday. (EP)
Correspondent IMPHAL, JAN 12:
Published on 13 Jan. 2010 12:41 AM IST
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Power ministers of three states including Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura have called for enhancement of fund flow for development of Hydro Power Generation in the region so as to economically uplift the northeast region. The power ministers who spoke on the last day of the 8th North east Regional Power Committee meeting in Imphal said the region has enough power generation capacity with the hydro potential of the region at about 63,257 MW which comprised almost 70% of the total potential of the country but that only a small fraction of it was being harnessed. Nagaland power minister, Doshehe Sema said investors from the mainland refused to invest in infrastructure development in the north eastern region due to power problem compounded with bad law and order situation. Seeking to contradict investors’ view that northeast people were “very hostile,” Doshehe pointed out that the hospitality rate of the people here was “very high.” “They should know this and invest in the development of infrastructures if they wanted to develop the region,” he added. Stating that northeast was not a “land of animals” but “people too settle,” Doshehe said investment should be made in the region and be developed so that there could be uniform development. Refusal on the part of investors to enter in the region has greatly affected the economy as no industries could be taken up. According to the Nagaland minister, there was no industry worth mentioning in the region. He pointed out that the region has plenty of natural resources in respect of water, solar and minerals but they remained a waste. He said the state governments could not take up any works to extract these resources as they lacked funds. Tripura power minister, Manik Dey said one of the major issues of concern to all the states of the region was the limitation of transmission network in the region. It seriously impedes transmission of power from state to the grid and from grid to the state and in matter of inter-state transmission, he stated. He also expressed hope that the meeting would help in boosting the power transmission system and work coordination among the states of the region as well as with the Power Grid Corporation of India and North Eastern Power Grid Corporation. Manipur power minister, Phungzathang Tonsing who also spoke at the concluding function of the meeting expressed dissatisfaction with the power scenario in the region stating that it was far below satisfactory. He said that the present effective capacity of the region was about 2108 MW, out of which, 1268 was from hydro generation and 840 MW from thermal and gas generations. (More on page 6) (MThe projected peak demand in this current month January is about 1818.1 MW, but the projected availability is only 1413.2 MW leaving a deficit of 22.27% in spite of availability of rich hydro and thermal potential, he informed. He said the major generation and transmission scheme of the northeast region were implemented by the public sector units of the government of India. “I suggest this forum (meeting) may request the Centre to enhance the fund flow for development of hydro power generation considering the economic upliftment of this poor industry region and reducing power crisis of the country,” Manipur power minister said.

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