GUWAHATI, May 12 – Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today attracted flak from the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) for his views on the debilitating power scene prevailing in the state.
The AASU, described his views as devoid of depth, which would only endanger the prospects of students, and the public at large who have no access to quality power these days. “Gogoi’s perspective lacks foresight, thinking, and any plan whatsoever,” the AASU stated.
The AASU demanded that the Government come up with a White Paper on ensuring energy security for the people of Assam, adding that the Assam Government has clearly failed in using the State’s resources to enhance electricity generation. In the 18th Electric Power Survey Forecast, it was mentioned that Assam would require 1715 MW of power by 2015-16, 1817 MW by 2016-17 and 2532 MW by 2020-21. The AASU questioned how the State will reach these targets in the near future when it cannot even fulfil the present needs.
According to AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya, a number of projects – 150 MW Lower Kapili hydro, 500 MW thermal in Margherita, 60 MW Chandrapur theramal, 60 MW Upper Barapani, 60 MW Middle Barapani, 100 MW Lakowa – could not become operational for reasons yet to be mentioned by the Chief Minister.
Significantly, the AASU pointed out that under the initiative of noted expert Harishankar Brahma, a plan was made to develop a 500 MW thermal power plant in Margherita. In the year 2009, a 1,600 bigha plot of land was also acquired for the purpose. But so far the project has not seen any progress.