Centre approves Rs5,200-cr scheme to improve North East power network

The centre has approved a Rs5,200 crore scheme for strengthening power transmission and distribution network in six North East states of Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tnpura and Nagaland.

"The cabinet has approved North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project (NERPSlP) for Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Nagaland for strengthening of the intra state transmission and distribution system," union minister for communications and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters on Thursday.

The scheme is estimated to cost Rs5,111.33 crore, including capacity building expenditure of Rs89 crore, the minister said.

The scheme is to be taken up under a new central sector Plan scheme of the ministry of power. The scheme is to be implemented with the assistance of World Bank loan and the budget of the power ministry. The project will be funded on 50:50 (World Bank loan: Gol) basis except the component of capacity building for Rs89 crore for which GoI will bear entirely.

The project will be implemented through Power Grid Corporation of the India Limited (PGCIL) in association with six NER states in 48 months from the date of release of funds to PGCIL. After commissioning, the project will be owned and maintained by the state governments.

At present, all the six NER states are connected to transmission network at 132 KV and below. The 33 KV system is the backbone of power distribution system in the six NER states.

In order to reduce the gap between the requirement and availability of the intra-state transmission and distribution system, it is necessary to provide 132 KV / 220 KV connectivity to all the six NER states for proper voltage management and lower distribution losses, he said, adding that the distribution system in all six NER states which mainly relies on 33 KV network would be strengthened substantially.

Implementation of this project will create a reliable state power grid and improve its connectivity to the upcoming load centres, and benefit all grid-connected power consumers. The project would also provide the required grid connectivity to such villages and towns of the states, where development of distribution system at the downstream level has been taking place under Gol sponsored RGGVY/ APDRP/ R-APDRP schemes.

This project is a major step towards meeting the national objective of "Power to All" through enhancement in access of consumers to grid connected power supply through improving its availability and reliability, thereby facilitating inclusive growth.