Guwahati, Tuesday, September 10, 2019
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Work on Subansiri dam resumes
Rituraj Borthakur
 GUWAHATI, Sept 9 - The Central government has set 2024 target to complete construction of the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri hydro-electric project.

“More than 50 per cent work has been completed. Around Rs 10,000 crore has been spent on it so far. It will be completed by 2024,” a senior official of the Union Power Ministry told The Assam Tribune when asked about the progress on the project on the sidelines of the NEC plenary session here.

Though NHPC had stated that work on the dam would resume in October, the Power Ministry official insisted that “work has resumed and is on in full swing”.

At the plenary session, the official thanked the chief secretaries of both Assam and Arunachal Pradesh for their support.

The official said that the hydro-electric potential of North East is around 60,000 MW, but only 6 per cent of it has been exploited so far.

“Arunachal Pradesh can be the power house of the country. If we have to exploit the hydro-electric potential in the region, we would need an investment of around Rs 6 lakh crore,” he said, adding that even that was not a problem and PSUs were willing to come forward.

He, however, said issues regarding land acquisition and law and order need to be tackled by the states and only then the Centre can come forward.

“During the last six months, there have been significant developments for the region. The work on Subansiri has resumed. The Dibang project – the biggest project in the country – has been approved,” he said.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had recently approved the Rs 1600 crore expenditure for pre-investment activities for the 2880 MW Dibang Multipurpose Project in Arunachal.

Clearing the decks for the Lower Subansiri hydro-electric project, the NGT had last month dismissed a plea seeking reconstitution of the Environment Ministry committee set up to study the project.

Construction activities of the Subansiri Hydro-electric Project have been stopped since 2011 due to agitation by some pressure groups.

Armed with the NGT order, the NHPC signed power purchase agreements with Assam and Arunachal Pradesh recently.

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