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Assam taps Tripura on power

Agartala, July 25: The Assam government is keen to purchase surplus power set to be produced in North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (Neepco)’s Monarchak thermal power plant in West Tripura’s Sonamura subdivison to cover up the widening gap in demand and supply of power in the state.

Dispur is also in total agreement with other northeastern states over the regional demand to the Centre for reduction in price of natural gas and right to make payment in Indian rupee rather than the US dollar.

Announcing this in an informal interaction with the media last night, Assam power minister Pradyut Bordoloi said he had arrived here yesterday in the morning to discuss with his Tripura counterpart Manik Dey the question of purchase of power from the Monarchak thermal power plant currently under construction.

“It has already been decided that Assam will be entitled to 196MW power from ONGC’s 750MW thermal power plant in Palatana of South Tripura but the demand for power in Assam is growing by leaps and bounds, with annual demand increasing by 16 per cent, so we need more power,” said Bordoloi, who is visiting the Neepco’s Monarchak and Ramchandra Nagar power plants and ONGC’s Palatana project.

Besides meeting Tripura power minister Manik Dey in the latter’s chamber, Bordoloi also held a meeting with additional chief secretary K.V. Satyanarayan, power secretary S.K. Roy, CMD of state electricity corporation Niladri Sekhar Chakraborty and additional CMD Mahananda Debbarma to discuss the prospects of power purchase from Tripura.

He said the transmission line for taking power from Palatana to Bongaigaon in Assam was progressing “satisfactorily” via Silchar and permission from the forest department for laying of transmission line had been obtained.

Bordoloi said the Assam government has “no objection on principle” to sale of power generated in Palatana to Bangladesh. “We have no objection in principle but we feel that demands of the Northeast should have priority and then the surplus power can be sold to Bangladesh; of course, the final decision will have to be taken by the Centre,” said Bordoloi.

He expressed serious “resentment and concern” over the 156 per cent rise in the price of natural gas over the past two years and the obligation enforced by the Centre on the northeastern states to make payment for natural gas in US dollar rather than Indian rupee.

He is returning to Guwahati this evening.


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