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Assam finds it tough to fulfill PM’s dream

POWER TO ALL HOUSEHOLDS 

STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, May 3: Assam is faced with an uphill task to fulfill Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of lighting each and every household in the country with electricity by 2019 with majority of the ongoing power generation projects in the State are either lying in limbo or progressing at a slower than snail’s pace.
While the Assam Power Generation Company Ltd is producing only 253 MW of power daily, the State is procuring and purchasing 1590 MW of power daily from different sources. The demand of power during the peak hours (5pm to 10 pm) of summer is 1820 MW. The off peak hour (day time) demand is 1200 MW.
Assam has at present 24 lakhs households without electricity.
Sources said work for Myntriang Small Hydro Eletric Project in Karbi Anglong district started way back in 2009 and targeted to be completed in 2011. Even though the deadline was extended up to 2016, the project is yet to see the light of the day. The project is supposed to have generated 13.5 MW of power.
The Namrup replacement power project supposed to be completed in 2012 to generate 100 MW of power, is yet to be commissioned.  
Some of the other projects such as lower Kopili hydro power projects, Namrup solar power project, Amguri solar power project and Lawka replacement power project have not even been able to cross the initial stages of implementation including tendering process.
While former Power Minister in the erstwhile Congress regime Pradyut Bordoloi miserably failed in his job, the minister in the same portfolio in the present BJP regime Pallav Lochan Das could not change the power scenario to the desired and expected level of the people of the State. Topon Kumar Gogoi who recently took charge as the minister of state for power, will have to race against time to improve the power scenario and fulfill the Prime Minister’s dream of electricity to every household by 2019.
The BJP-led Government which organized the Global Investors’ Summit in February to attract investors to the State by promising them all facilities including uninterrupted power supply, will have to work on war footing to improve the power scene in the next three years of its rule.

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Ankur Kalita