New Delhi: "Development of North-Eastern India is on high priority of the Union government and a well-developed power sector is a prerequisite to the economic development in these states," said RK Singh, Union Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy. Singh was speaking at a meeting of Chief Secretaries and Principal Secretaries of Power of North-Eastern states in Guwahati on Tuesday. The meeting was also attended by senior officers of the Power Ministry and representatives of DISCOMS.
On the occasion, a power purchase agreement (PPA) was also signed between the Arunachal Pradesh government and NHPC Limited for the supply of power from 2,000 MW Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project in the state.
"In order to redeem our pledge for 24/7 power, we will have to reduce the losses and make the DISCOMS viable," said Singh. He cited the example of states which incurred huge commercial losses but have been able to trim them down to 15 percent or below. Singh urged north-east states to adopt smart and prepaid meters to avoid power theft.
He assured them of all the assistance from the Central government in creating power infrastructure. The Minister also stated that the grant for Central government schemes will be made available to only those states who undertake reforms, with respect to reduction of losses etc.
North-Eastern India has a huge hydro potential, the minister pointed out. He added that the state governments have a major role in developing these projects by way of facilitating land acquisition and implementing the resettlement and rehabilitation plans.
Singh assured full support for the development of hydro-power in the region and called upon all stakeholders to work in close coordination.
It may be noted that new projects worth Rs 1,797.43 crore have been sanctioned under IPDS for the region.