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GTA eyes 12% share of power tariff

Darjeeling, Nov. 29: The GTA is looking at generating around Rs 100 crore annually by asking the state government to part with 12 per cent of the revenue earned by the sale of electricity produced in the area under the autonomous body.

The Darjeeling hills will witness a leap in power generation in the coming months when two hydel projects on the Teesta will be commissioned by the NHPC. As of now, the hills produce 375MW through small and medium hydel projects a day.

Roshan Giri, an executive member of the GTA Sabha, told The Telegraph that a clause in the GTA Act provided for the sharing of electricity between the state government and the hill authority. “We are being told that the principal secretary of the state’s power department will be visiting Darjeeling soon and we will discuss the issue with him.”

The secretary is expected to be in Darjeeling before December 15.

The sharing of electricity is mentioned in sub-section 53 of Section 26 of the GTA Act which deals with “matter to be under control and administration of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration”.

Sub-section 53 reads: “Sharing electricity with Gorkhaland Territorial Administration subject to evolving mutually agreeable formula with the state government.”

Taking note of the sub-section, the GTA has already decided to draw up “a policy” on power production.

“We have started the groundwork to frame a policy on how to go about sharing electricity and setting up hydel and other power projects in the GTA area,” said Narbu G. Lama, member-on-duty in charge of department of renewable sources of energy at the GTA.

Lama is of the opinion that the GTA should get a share of at least 12 per cent of the tariff from the sale of electricity. “We feel the GTA should be given a share of 12 per cent of the tariff from the electricity generated by all hydel projects in the hills. This would ensure an annual revenue of almost Rs 100 crore,” he said.

He added that the hydel projects at Jaldhaka, Ramman and in other places of the hills had a potential of generating 375MW a day.

“We need to get a share of the revenue from the sale of power yielded by these projects also. At the moment, the state government is taking the entire revenue from these projects.”

The hills’ power production will almost be doubled once the NHPC commissions two of its projects on the Teesta. S.R. Roy, executive director of the NHPC Limited, had told The Telegraph that the TLDP-III (Teesta Lower Dam Project III)) at Rambi would be commissioned by December 31, while the TLDP-IV was scheduled to be completed in September 2013.

Rambi is 70km from Darjeeling and the TLDP-IV site is 5km downstream. The TLDP-III will generate 132MW a day when it becomes fully functional, while the TLDP-IV has a projected capacity of 160MW.

Roy said the Bengal government was willing to buy 100 per cent of the electricity generated by the two Teesta projects according to an agreement it had reached with the NHPC. However, a final call on the electricity sale would be taken by the Union power ministry.