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NE power ministers to meet today
Correspondent SHILLONG, AUG 10:
Published on 11 Aug. 2010 12:08 AM IST
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Power ministers from the eight North Eastern states will assemble in Shillong from Wednesday to find ways to overcome the huge power deficit in the region.
“There are various agendas, but the focus would be to develop transmission lines and develop new power projects to meet the power requirements,” Meghalaya power minister, A T Mondal said.
Mondal, who is also the chairman of North Eastern Regional Power Committee, said that members of the technical committee will meet Wednesday and brainstorm how to develop new transmission lines and power projects. He said the northeast must use its immense power potential in a collective manner to remove hurdles in power generation.
“We need to work together to get better results and all power ministers of all the northeastern states, including Sikkim would attend the two- day meeting,” Mondal stated. The northeast has the potential of producing 70,000 MW of power, enough to light up half of India, experts say. Arunachal Pradesh alone has the potential to produce 50,000 MW of power.
But the region is reeling under power shortage due to slow development of new power projects due to many obstacles. Due to the bottlenecks the region is producing power just 2 to 3 percent of its actual potential. Earlier, State-owned NEEPCO chief and managing director I.P. Barooah advocated a uniform power policy for the eight northeastern states.
“The region must think in terms of having a uniform hydel power policy so that the power sector can be developed in a coordinated manner,” he said
Pointing out that the region has the potential to “light up half of India” with its huge power potential, he said the northeast as a whole has the potential of producing about 70,000 MW of power.
“Arunachal Pradesh alone has the potential of producing 50,000 MW of power, but most of the proposed hydel power projects here have hit roadblocks,” he said.
The region, Barooah said, currently is producing just 2-3 percent of its actual potential due to various bottlenecks.
“The figure is dismal. Some of the power projects have not been cleared, others are being opposed,” he added.

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