Power minister rules out further hike in tariff this year; APDCL to get Rs 362 crore to cover losses
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Dec 16: Assam will get 24X7 power supply from January next year, Power minister Rakibul Hussain said today.
"We are making the arrangement to ensure that the State gets uninterrupted power supply from January next year," he told a press conference.
The State's peak power requirement has risen from 600 MW in 2001 to 1,450 MW as on date, but its own generation is a meager 350 MW.
"House connections have also risen from six lakh in 2001 to 33 lakh today," the minister pointed out.
He said a 250 MW unit of the NTPC’s Bongaigaon thermal plant is likely to be commissioned by March next year.
"Besides, the Central government has also approved the 250 MW Lower Kopili hydel project which will be funded by the ADB. The 660 MW coal-based plant at Margherita and the 30 MW gas-based plant at Cachar are in different stages of being implemented. Trial run of the 100 MW gas-based plant at mrup will begin in March next year," Hussain said.
Asked if the announcement for uninterrupted power supply was made with an eye on the assembly election due in April-May next year, Hussain said, "There have been elections in the past. If anyone thinks in that way, I have nothing to say."
The minister also ruled out any power tariff hike this year.
"The government has had discussions with the APDCL and Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission in this regard. The APDCL has sought Rs 362 crore subsidy to meet the losses. The government has agreed to it," he said.
The minister said the thrust of his department this year would be to cut down the leakages, distribution losses and power thefts.