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Mizoram in grip of acute power crisis
Published on 24 Aug. 2010 11:18 PM IST
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Landlocked Mizoram is now in the grip of an acute power crisis something which the border state has not experienced over the past few decades. According to an official estimate, the power deficit in the state which is ironically endowed with enormous hydel power prospects with many rivers criss-crossing it from the south to the northern flanks, is estimated at 77MW at its highest and 52MW at its lowest.
The total demand as estimated by the state’s power and electricity department has been put at 107MW at its peak. The engineer-in-chief in the power and electricity department in Aizawl, C.L. Thangliana, in a message had made it clear that there was no immediate prospect of improvement in the electricity-starved state’s power situation as there was no proposal of any adequate power grant from any of the plants outside the state.
He also blamed “weak and insufficient” transmission network.
The lingering power crisis in the state where power cuts at regular intervals have now become a ritual, is also accentuated by transmission and distribution losses in the state estimated at 41 per cent. The intermittent power shutdowns, long hours of the loadshedding and occasional tripping in the transmission lines have now become the order of the day in Mizoram. The Mizoram government had pinned its hope on the 460MW Kolodyne hydropower project near Saiha township in southern part of the state to bail it out of its recurrent power shortfalls. But it got a rude jolt when the Union power ministry’s Central Electric Authority (CEA) said the project required some more geological investigation.
Hope for this project which has the capacity to wipe out the power deficit not only in Mizoram but in some of its adjoining northeastern states, was ignited in October 2008 when the Central Water Commission submitted a detailed project report for the Kolodyne scheme and the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) updated it last year.
The CEA, however, has found that the geological investigation component in the detailed project report was not “adequate enough” and asked the NTPC to conduct further studies. It has now commissioned the Wadia Institute of Hydrology in Dehradun and the Geological Survey of India for another round of the geological study and mapping.
The CEA is apparently unhappy with the tardy pace of work by the Central Water Commission in preliminary drilling in the dam site for the Kolodyne scheme.
According to Thangliana, the Central Water Commission has till now drilled only one site.
The engineer-in-chief has recently submitted a set of a few schemes aimed to improve the dismal power situation prevailing in Mizoram to the CEA.

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