With the next Assembly elections of Assam slated for March 2016, this is again the season for wild promises that will never get fulfilled. It is, therefore, amusing to hear Assam’s Power Minister Rakibul Husain assure the people of the State that they would have uninterrupted power supply from January 2016. He said on Wednesday that several major power projects were nearing completion, and that this would make the State self-reliant in the next few years. “The State will have 24 x 7 power supply from January next year. Even though our own generation is insufficient, we will ensure uninterrupted power supply to the people by procuring power from outside,” he told jourlists. There is a certain déjà vu about such promises. Way back in 2004, the then Power Minister, Pradyut Bordoloi had held a PowerPoint presentation at the Administrative Staff College auditorium to inform the gathering about the power projects that the State had undertaken and had assured everyone that all the power shortage problems of the State would be over by the year 2006. What really happened was that the installed capacity of the Assam State Electricity Board which had been a measly 540 MW, got reduced drastically and was eventually pushed back to about 250 MW after the commissioning of the Karbi-Langpi project. During the 12 or 13 years of Pradyut Bordoloi’s tenure as Power Minister there were no visible attempts to honour the promises made in 2004. The year 2006 came and went, but there was only a deterioration in the power scerio. And now, just because the elections are around the corner, the present Power Minister deems it fair play to make similar promises that will never be honoured. He has stated that the present peak hour demand of the State is 1,450 MW and that what the State generates is just 350 MW. Some well-wisher should have told him that he has made a wild promise just to delude the voters. But perhaps he already knows.
Wild Promises about Power