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Rio lament delay in commissioning of hydro power projects in NE; urge agencies to speed up work

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Kohima, Feb 4: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Thursday said that commissioning of hydro projects in the North Eastern State are being delayed because of which the tariff are comparatively higher, besides geological uncertainties.

“Nevertheless, since Hydro projects are the most potential area of power generation, he appealed to the executing agencies to take up the challenge and put up all efforts for timely commissioning of the projects,” he said addressing the 21st North Eastern Regional Power Committee (NERPC) inaugural programme with Power Ministers from North- Eastern States.

“Power sector is no doubt one of the most complicated sectors, where there is a need to use collective wisdom to strike a proper balance between commercial needs and social obligations, the Nagaland Chief Minister said.

 Rio, who is also the chairman of NERPC said that NERPC has always been relentlessly striving towards making the NER power system operations more reliable, efficient and economically viable.

He said the implementation of World Bank funded project like NERPSIP (North East Region Power System Improvement Project) undertaken by the POWERGRID through the initiative of Union Ministry of Power, was one such programme which is going to benefit all the North Eastern States immensely.

Furthermore, he said that through this project, the much needed construction of Transmission lines and Sub-stations are presently in progress in many places and urge upon the POWERGRID, the Implementing Agency, to speed up the work as the Tranche-I of the NERPSIP is already running behind the timeline of completion schedule and unless it is expedited the sanction and implementation of Tranche-II will be delayed.

Rio also requested the forum to recommend the proposal to the Ministry of Power (MOP) for funding of the project under PSDF as a special dispensation.

Meghalaya Power Minister, James K. Sangma pointed that some of the projects under NERSIP are delayed with regards to setting up of Transmission Line and requested the NERPC  to find means to expedite the approval of projects as early as possible.

Sangma also highlighting on another major issue says that northeast being the seismically – active region, geological issues such as slope failure while implementing Hydropower projects causing time and cost overruns for projects.

He urged the NERPC to explore new avenues for the excavation of surplus power from North East to Bangladesh, as it would enable Meghalaya and other North-Eastern states to trade surplus power to Bangladesh and earn additional revenue by providing a transmission corridor to Bangladesh.

Sangma also requested the Government of India to fast-track the clearance process for new proposed power projects and endorse their proposal to review the funding norm under PSDF, to facilitate expeditious execution of PSDF schemes.

Deputy Chief Minister Tripura and Minister in charge of Power, Jishunu Dev Varma said that the implementation of India and World Bank funded project NERPSIP is one such major infrastructure development programme to create robust power network in the northeastern states by strengthening and augmenting the intra-state transmission and distribution system.

He furthers hopes that the meeting will resolve many of the significant issues affecting the power sector in the NE Region.

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