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Power cuts plague Barak valley

Silchar, July 23: Severe power cuts ranging between eight and nine hours overall have now become a regular feature in the Barak valley districts, increasing pressure on the top officials of the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) here.

The general manager of the Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd, south Assam circle, Kumar Kishore Chakravarty, has gone incommunicado in spite of repeated efforts to contact him.

Senior-level officials of the company alleged that the ASEB is discriminating against the Barak valley regarding the allocation of power.

The Barak valley does not have a private or public power generation unit of its own, after DLF Universal Ltd announced closure of all operations at its gas-based thermal power units in Cachar and Karimganj districts.

The two gas-based thermal power plants in Barak Valley a 9MW unit at Adamtilla in Karimganj district and a 15.5MW unit at Banskandi in Cachar district were commissioned in 1995 and the Assam Gas Company Ltd (AGCL) supplied natural gas to the plants by purchasing it from the ONGC.

However, they had to be shut down as a result of decreased natural gas production.

Sources said the Barak valley districts have only 12 per cent of population of the state.

The daily power cuts and hourly load-sheddings have triggered accusations of discrimination towards this valley.

The local residents have in the past ransacked the ASEB office premises in the districts but their appeals have gone unheard.

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