Sunday, June 26, 2022

Arunachal deputy CM says 98% of state’s hydropower potential untapped

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  • Hydropower can be the main revenue making source for the state, said Mein
  • NEEPCO is implementing 3,750 MW Siang Upper, 330 MW Kurung Dam and 90 MW New Meling Hydro-Electric Projects in Arunachal Pradesh

New Delhi: While pointing out that 168 power projects of 46,000 MW capacity that had been awarded by previous governments are yet to see light of day, Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein urged officials to liaison closely with state-run NEEPCO and SJVN and private power developers to speed up the implementation of hydropower projects that have been re-allocated. Noting that Arunachal Pradesh has more than 1/3rd of the country’s hydropower potential, Mein, who is also the Minister-in-Charge of Power and Hydro-Power Development, said that 98 percent of the hydropower potential of the state remains untapped.  

Mein was addressing an important meeting with NEEPCO Chief Managing Director regarding the Joint Venture Agreement between NEEPCO and Hydro-Power Development Corporation of Arunachal Pradesh Limited (HPDCAPL) for 3,750 MW Siang Upper, 330 MW Kurung Dam and 90 MW New Meling Hydro-Electric Projects in the state via a video-conference on June 14.

‘Hydropower can be main revenue-making source for Arunachal’

Mein said that Arunachal Pradesh has more than 1/3rd hydropower potential of the country, however, 98 percent of it remains untapped due to various reasons. Citing that Arunachal depends on the Central government for 90 percent of its budget requirement, he said that all efforts are on to enhance the state’s internal revenue by harnessing its own resources and added that hydropower can be the main revenue making source for the state.

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He said that with the constant support from the Central government, the state government is planning to develop big as well as small hydropower projects. Efforts are also on to revamp the development of Dibang Multi-Purpose Project and Lower Demwe Project.

State govt re-allocating terminated hydropower projects: Mein

The deputy CM further said that the previous governments in the state had allotted 168 projects to private power developers and PSUs, aggregating to nearly 46,000 MW. However, as the projects failed to take off, the government had to terminate many such projects. He said that the state has started re-allocating such terminated projects to PSUs. Two projects — 120 MW Nafra and 90 MW New Meling hydropower projects — have already been allotted to NEEPCO. 

Citing NEEPCO as a partner in the hydropower development of the state, the deputy CM urged NEEPCO to start the work on Kameng Basin Projects — Nafra and New Meloing Hydroelectric projects (HEPs) — as early as possible. He also urged them to sort out the impediment in the implementation of the 330 MW Kurung HEP by sitting across the table with authorities. The MOA for the project was signed in the year 2015.

Advisor to Mein, Balo Raja, assured NEEPCO CMD Vinod Kumar Singh that the security of NEEPCO officials and any kind of local issues in connection with the implementation of the Kurung Project will be looked into and sought early commencement of the project.

The meeting also discussed about the 1,800 MW Kamala HEP in Kamle district, which was being implemented by Jindal Power Limited. The project, which was initially started in the year 2012, has been stuck since 2014 and has not been commissioned even after 12 years of signing the MoU. In the meeting, Toko Onuj, Chairman and Managing Director of HPDCAPL, was asked to act as nodal officer for liaising with Jindal Power Ltd, SJVN and NEEPCO on Kamala, Kurung, New Meling and Etalin HEPs for acquisition and merger, equity participation, etc.

The meeting was also attended by MLA Kamle, Tarin Dakpe, Advisor to the government of Arunachal Pradesh, Commissioner (Power) Dr HK Paliwal, Prashant Lokhande, NEEPCO CMD and CE Hydro-Power Development (Monitoring) RK Joshi, among others.

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