Imphal, Aug. 5: India has promised aid to Myanmar to set up a power plant at Sagaing Division in the neighbouring country.
After a series of meetings between Yangon and Delhi, the first ground-level talks on the setting up of a thermal power plant in Sagaing Division was held at the ministerial level at Tamu town yesterday.
The plant is proposed to be set up within Sagaing Division.
The Myanmar authorities will decide the location of the power plant and once the site is selected, India will provide the equipment.
Manipur commerce and industry minister Govindas Konthoujam led the Indian team while U. Khin Maung, power minister of Sagaing Division, headed the Myanmar side at the meeting, which was held at one of Myanmar army headquarters at Tamu town.
The Indian team assured its Myanmarese counterpart that once the site was selected, India was ready to provide the necessary equipment.
The power generated by this proposed plant will light up, among others, Tamu town, which is very close to Manipur’s Moreh.
The power situation in Sagaing Division is reportedly bad and Tamu town, which plays a major role in the Indo-Myanmar border trade through Moreh, is currently lit by generators.
A trade delegation of Myanmar visited Imphal in April last year to study development activities in Manipur.
During a meeting with chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, the delegation sought help from India, particularly from Manipur, to improve the power situation in Sagaing Division.
The delegation requested the Manipur chief minister to sell power to them and Ibobi had assured the delegation that he would look into the matter.
Official sources said the plan to sell power to Myanmar did not work out, as the state does not have enough power yet.
Winding up yesterday’s meeting, Khin Maung assured the Indian delegation that he would report the progress of the talks to Yangon and convey to India instructions from the authorities for further talks.
The sides also discussed the matter of issuing visas to visitors faster.
They agreed that the matter should be given top priority to boost trade and tourism.
N. Nandakumar, India’s consulate-general at Mandalay of Myanmar, and Manipur officials, including Robert Singh Kshetrimayum, additional deputy commissioner of Moreh, and Sharat Singh, chief engineer of Manipur’s power department and V. Sekhar, the president of the Border Trade and Chamber of Commerce of Moreh, also attended the meeting.