Centre to invest Rs10,000-cr in N-E power projects

The centre will invest Rs10,000 crore in the power sector in the eight North Eastern states, including Sikkim, union minister for power, coal and NRE, Piyush Goyal, said in Guwahati today.

''The government has embarked on Rs10,000 crore project, to serve all North Eastern Region,'' Goyal said at the two-day all-India power ministers conference, being held at the Administrative Staff College.

"The Rs10,000 crore project will boost the power transmission and distribution network. The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) has started work. The 6,000 MW Biswanath Chariali-Agra transmission will be ready in another three to three-and-half months," Goyal said.

On Subansiri project, he said he hoped ''a consensus would emerge among stakeholders for speedy implementation as this would expand opportunities to all especially irrigation, job creation, and affordable power to all. Accept it as a shared responsibility.''

He said the government will consider the interest of Assam while taking a final resolution on the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri hydro power project along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border, he said.

Work on the hydro power project has been stalled since 2011 following massive public protest from anti-dam groups, particularly in Assam, who say the project will lead to environmental disaster in downstream states like Assam.

"The power ministry together with people and technical experts will resolve the concerns regarding the Lower Subansiri project. We will look after the interest of the people of the region," he assured.

He said the stalled projects on the Teesta river in Sikkim were expected to be completed by 2015.

"We have started the Teesta hydro electric project. Investment of over Rs.12,000-13,000 crore has already been made," he said.

The ONGC's first power venture 2x363.3 MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine at Palatana in Tripura has already been commissioned, he said.

Another 100 MW capacity addition has been done to the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation's (NEEPCO) Monarchak project in Tripura.

"The transmission line between Silchar and Imphal has also been completed with an investment of Rs.500 crore," he said.