NEW DELHI, May 19 - In a fresh attempt to end the stalemate on the Subansiri (Lower) hydroelectric project, the Centre is likely to plead before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to resolve the issue so that work on the project is started soon.Revealing this, Union Minister of State for Power and Coal Piyush Goyal said the case is pending in the NGT and is scheduled to come up for hearing on May 25 when the government is going to plead before it to resolve the matter soon so that the project work can be started at the earliest.
Goyal also did not forget to thank Assam and Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Pema Khandu respectively for their support. “I am happy to inform that the Chief Ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh met me and offered their support and assistance to ensure early completion of the project,” Goyal said.
Earlier, replying to questions, he said that he inherited the problem of Subansiri hydropower project, which was stalled for the past seven-eight years. The project is implemented in Arunachal Pradesh, while Assam was in its downstream. The previous government did not understand the problem and the loss sustained by the Government of India, he charged.
The minister thanked Sarbananda Sonowal for supporting the Subansiri hydropower project because Assam will get free power as well as low cost power. Ten years ago when the project was started the cost was Rs 1.86 per unit. The previous government did not understand the problem and now the cost of power has now increased to Rs 5.50 per unit, he said.
“Who is responsible for the loss,” he asked. The people of Assam have given their reply in the last election, he said, adding, the previous government has pushed back the power sector by 50-100 years.
Because of the deadlock, electricity development in the northeastern region has suffered tremendously. In the last 10 years, the previous government did not do anything to develop the sector. The new government in Assam led by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has accorded priority to development of infrastructure.