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Centre urged to expedite release of funds for power projects

Meghalaya Power Minister Comingone Ymbon addressing the 18th NERPC meeting in Shillong on Wednesday. – UB Photos
 SHILLONG, Oct 11 - Power Ministers of Northeastern States today expressed disappointment over late sanctioning of funds from Centre and high power purchase tariff. 

Power Ministers of Meghalaya, Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura said that due to delay in sanctioning of funds for development of power projects and the high tariff to purchase power, growth of the sector has been adversely affected, despite immense power potential of the region. 

They aired their view at the 18th North Eastern Regional Power Committee (NERPC) meeting held here. The meeting was held under the aegis of Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL).  

Tripura Power Minister and also Chairman of NERCP, Manik Dey urged Centre to provide full sanction of the approved Detailed Project Reports. 

He informed that Centre has released seven to 10 per cent of the earmarked funds for development of power projects in his State, and therefore work has come to a standstill. 

He also said that it would be difficult to implement the Centre’s ambitious Subghaya Scheme which envisages providing power to all by end of 2018 under the present situation. 

Nagaland Power Minster K Sangtam was equally critical about the Centre’s fund release process. He said, the State Government is “tired” of asking for funds from other sources like DoNER Ministry. 

He, therefore, suggested that the group of Power Ministers from the region should collectively approach the Power Ministry and urge it to change the funding pattern for the region. 

Agreeing with his counterparts from the region, Assam Minister of State for Power Pallab Lochan Das said the Ministry sanctions the fund in April and the monsoon season starts thereafter. “Most of the projects therefore get delayed. The Centre should change the funding pattern,” Das said. 

Arunachal Pradesh Power Minister, T Taga in his address said, several Central PSUs have been given work to develop the power sector in his State and many like Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) were sitting idle on these projects despite sanction of funds. 

Meghalaya Power Minister Comingone Ymbon spoke about the potentials of Meghalaya in the hydel sector and informed that 22 projects have been surveyed. Based on the survey report further action would be undertaken. 

He also informed about two solar power projects that are being developed with a capacity of 10 MW each. “We would urge Central Government to assist in skill development so that there is more expertise in the region to develop power projects,” he said.

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