Mein, Singh discuss harnessing Arunachal’s hydropower potential

NEW DELHI, 22 Nov: Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein met union Power Minister RK Singh at his office here on Tuesday, and the two discussed ways to harness the rich hydropower potential of Arunachal Pradesh.

The union minister informed that the Centre will shortly approve an investment of Rs 32,000 crore for the 2,880 mw Dibang project. He also informed that “the central PSUs will actively ensure that the local youngsters get employment, and will work to provide necessary skills to the local contractors, so that the benefit of such project is taken by the local communities.”

The hydropower projects will ensure flood moderation in Arunachal, thereby avoiding damages worth hundreds of crores of rupees.

The DCM informed that “the state has reformed the land acquisition process and will ensure immediate disbursement of legitimate land compensation to the landowners.”

He said that the hydropower projects in Arunachal “are going to help the PM’s commitment in Glasgow COP-26 to make India a net-zero emission country by adding 500 gw non-fossil fuel power.

“If well-planned and supported, Arunachal Pradesh has a potential to contribute 10 percent of this target through its hydro potential,” Mein said.

He gave assurance that “the state government will provide all support in harnessing the rich potential in a sustainable manner, in consultation and with support from the local communities.”

Mein also spoke about the benefits, including free power to the state, coming from the 600 mw Kameng project, which was dedicated to the nation by the prime minister on 19 November.

“The state is receiving Rs 150 crore per year as free power from this project,” he said, and informed that “the 2,000 mw Lower Subansiri project will be commissioned soon, through which the state will get Rs 400 crore per year in free power, and Rs 70 crore in local area development.”

The two ministers also discussed taking over 29 projects with 32,000 mw capacity from the private sector by the central PSUs in a time-bound manner. These projects would bring an investment of around Rs 5 lakh crore to the state.

Singh commended the proactive role of the Arunachal government in resolving the issues associated with these projects, including engaging with the local communities.

A clear timeline was fixed to develop these projects.

The MoAs with CPSUs for five projects with 2,820 mw capacity will be “ready for signature” in a month’s time. In addition, six projects with 6,063 mw capacity will be ready for investment in the next one year.

The DCM was accompanied by adviser to GoAP HK Paliwal and Planning Commissioner Prashant Lokhande.

The union power secretary and the CMDs of the NHPC, the NEEPCO, the THDC and the SJVN also attended the meeting. (DCM’s PR Cell)