Guwahati, March 12: Assam power minister Pradyut Bordoloi today said the dry spell and disruption of gas supply to thermal power stations had led to the ongoing power crisis in the state.
Bordoloi told the Assembly that scanty rainfall had led to a decrease in water levels in rivers, affecting generation at Ranganadi, Karbi Langpi, Kopili, Khandong and Doyang hydropower plants. As a result, he said, the Ranganadi and Karbi Langpi plants generated power only between 5pm and 9pm to meet the peak demand.
He said the Ranganadi hydropower plant was currently generating between 50MW and 60MW against a total generation capacity of 405MW. “Similarly, the Karbi Langpi plant is generating only 42MW against its total generation capacity of 100MW. The situation is no different in Kopili, Khandong and Doyang hydropower projects,” he told the house.
The minister was replying to a question by AIUDF legislator Abdur Rahim Khan.
He said the situation had been further aggravated by the shortage of gas supply to Kathalguri, Namrup and Lakwa thermal power plants following agitations and protests at the installations and gas collecting stations of OIL in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts in Upper Assam. Some organisations had been staging the dharnas demanding jobs and contracts in OIL in the past few days.
“Because of consecutive strikes and other agitations from March 7 to 10, there had been severe disruptions in gas supply, as a result of which the power generation at the Kathalguri plant has come down to 107MW from its total generation capacity of 291MW. Similar is the situation in Namrup and Lakwa,” Bordoloi said.
He said the state government had asked the deputy commissioners and superintendents of police of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia to ensure that illegal protests did not disrupt gas supply to the thermal power plants.
Bordoloi said, on an average the state is drawing between 15 to 20 per cent of the total power generation capacity of the plants. He said though Assam was purchasing 400MW of power from outside the region, even this had been interrupted because of a grid fault.
He said a delay in renovation of the Bongaigaon thermal power plant had also added to the woes, adding that initially the state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), which is doing the renovation, had set a December deadline for completion of the work. But owing to the BTAD riots, frequent strikes and road blockades, among others, now it is likely to be completed by the end of this year.
The minister said there were 110 days of strikes, road blockades and protests in Bongaigaon last year.
Assam will get 500MW from the Bongaigaon plant, which has a total generation capacity of 750MW.
Another plant on which Assam is banking on is the 750MW thermal power plant at Palatana in Tripura, which is likely to start production from next month. “Test runs are on at Palatana and it is expected to start generation from next month. Assam, which has an equity investment of around Rs 45 crore in the project, will get 240MW of power,” he said.
On the other hand, the ambitious 2,000MW Lower Subansiri mega dam project at Gerukamukh has been stalled for more than a year now, owing to protests over and reassessment of the downstream impact of the project.
In a related development, Assam State Power Workers Union members staged a sit-in today against the dissolution of Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB).