Editorial

Perennial power problem

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 10/13/2021 1:03:56 PM IST

 Those who visit Nagaland do not fail to mention about the hospitality and friendliness of the people of Nagaland, their absolutely mouth watering dishes, unforgettable salubrious climate, and clean air. However, the conversation never fails to revolve around the pot-holed roads and of course the perennial power cuts. Both roads and power are vital ingredients for development and also serve as key indicators of progress. In Nagaland roads don’t last and soon fall back into their state of deterioration because public don’t want to give lands. In addition, the specifications are not followed and therefore, roadside drains do not figure in most projects. Without roadside drains, the roads can but only deteriorate faster. The same problems plague power sector. People don’t want to give lands for setting up projects. Power pilferage and faulty reading of meters have contributed to power losses to a huge extent for decades. A few years back, Association of Power Engineers Nagaland (APEN), went on to point out that the Department of Power (DoP), which is a major department has been gradually getting less money than it required not only to maintain the system but also to improve on it. For instance, APEN said that for the period 2016-17 the DoP received less fund than the preceding financial year. It was pointed even by Association of Power Engineers of Nagaland(APEN) a few years ago that despite repeated requests on the government to rationalise funding so as to help revenue earning departments like DoP , nothing was done in this regard. Bad revenue receipts reflect the biggest factor that has been contributing to the department’s financial woes. Against the backdrop of prolonged power cuts recently, former power minister under the Congress government and also former finance minister in the first NPF government K. Therie, now president of state Congress, has attacked the state government’s admission that it earns less than half of the amount it paid to purchase power annually. Therie said such a situation should not happen since the sale price of one unit of electricity is double the purchase rate in order to also include loss in transmission and distribution. Therie expressed disbelief that revenue generation should be just 50% of the power purchase if online bills were paid to treasury under separate head. Nagaland buys electricity worth around Rs.400 crores which the power department sells to public but at the end they are able to recover only Rs. 162 crores (As per 2019-2020). Over the past five years, Nagaland has lost around Rs.1000 crores due to inability to effectively recover electricity bills.12-Apr-2021.Nagaland has two main hydro power stations one at Likimro with a generating capacity of 24 MW and the other at Doyang with 75 MW generating capacity. Likimro is the only state owned hydro power plant but this plant is currently not generating any electricity due to dry season. Doyang hydro plant was built by NEEPCO and per agreement between NEEPCO and Nagaland Government, Nagaland gets only 12% i.e. 9MW. However, the hydro station does not generate power during dry season. Thus, both the state’s hydro stations generate nil power during dry season. The solution is to install more hydro power stations and also explore wind and solar for energy. Unless Nagaland urgently improves power supply, there is no sense in talking or dreaming about economic development.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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