24.10 lakh families yet to get connection
Guwahati, April 2: Despite investment worth thousands of crores of rupees in the power sector in Assam by both the State government and other sources, including foreign assistance, the power situation in the State is so grim that the State produces only about 20 per cent of its power demand, with the rest borrowed from different sources, including the tiol Power Grid.
According to available records, the State requires 1,820 MW daily during peak hours in summer, while in winter the requirement per day during peak hours is 1,450 MW. But the average production of power in the State is 253 MW per day, which is abysmally low compared to the requirement.
To meet the shortfall, the State purchases power from agencies like tiol Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), tiol Hydel Power Corporation (NHPC), NEEPCO and SECI at rates ranging from Rs 1.60 per unit to Rs 8.18 per unit.
To meet the power requirement of the State, Assam Power Generation Corporation Limited (APGCL) is working on four projects but the pace is work is tardy, and in some cases, work has not started at all. The estimated power generation from these projects is 375 MW per day.
However, during the Question Hour in the State Legislative Assembly on Monday, while replying to AGP MLA Phani Bhusan Choudhury, State Power Minister Pallab Lochan Das said load-shedding in the State has come down but it is another matter if there is power shortfall due to technical reasons, adding that the State government is laying thrust on upgrade of the power distribution system so as to increase load capacity.
Nevertheless, a section of MLAs complained of power deficit in several remote areas of the State, and rued many areas are yet to be electrified.
The minister said, “I accept that. Still 24.10 lakh families in the State are yet to get electricity connection. We hope they will get electricity connection by the end of 2019. Till February 2017-18, 4,073 revenue villages have been electrified.”