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BJP seeks details from power minister

Guwahati, July 30: The BJP’s Assam unit today sought details of power generation in the past 10 years from state power minister Pradyut Bordoloi.

Party spokesman Adip Kumar Phukan challenged Bordoloi’s recent announcement that the state would have surplus power next year when the 750MW Bongaingaon thermal power station becomes fully operational.

“Bordoloi has taken no major step to generate power in the past 10 years but he is making a false claim that Assam will be power surplus next year. Bordoloi said Assam will get 750MW of power from the three units (250MW each) of Bongaingaon thermal power station but according to existing norms, our state will get only 127MW from one unit,” Phukan said.

“Besides, Bordoloi said Assam’s power demand next year will be around 1,300MW but according to the 18th electric power survey forecast, power demand will go up to 1,715MW. Since Bordoloi is making false claims, we demand that he should make public the steps he has taken to generate power during his 10 years as power minister,” Phukan added.

Assam, at present, requires 1,200MW power daily.

Bodroloi had said on Monday that the coal-based Bongaingaon project was expected to be fully operational next year, which would make the state power surplus.

“On an average, we are running short of 220MW of power daily but we are likely to become power surplus next year. Besides work on some other power projects are also under way,” Bordoloi had said.

But, Phukan said, the power minister had taken no significant step to make the two other thermal power projects at Margherita (500MW) and Chandrapur (100MW) operational.

“The Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd issued a notice on Monday, saying that the Chandrapur project was pending for forest clearance from the state-level environment impact assessment authority since 2012. The work on Chandrapur project was supposed to start in 2006. He (Bordoloi) should have informed the people about what his ministry has done in the past eight years,” Phukan said.

He questioned why coal from the state was not used in the coal-based power projects.

“The minister has said that the local coal cannot be used because of its sulphur content but scientists says that such coal can be used, using technology,” the BJP leader said.