Khandu push for hydropower plans
Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu termed hydropower “the future” of his state as it can generate 50,000 megawatt of power.
Khandu, however, regretted that so far Arunachal has been able to generate only about 2 per cent of its full potential.
Addressing the opening ceremony of a seminar, Prosperity of Arunachal Pradesh Through Accelerated Hydropower Development at the Dorjee Khandu Auditorium on the Assembly premises here, the chief minister said despite being the country’s richest state in terms of hydropower resources, Arunachal still depends upon the Centre sustenance.
Stating that the people of the state gave his government full mandate to ensure development, Khandu said this five-year tenure should be the turning point for Arunachal and its people.
“There’s no point taking up projects at random. Let us focus on 10 feasible and beneficial plans. We will take these up on mission mode.” Mini and micro hydel projects should also be implemented in places that lack grid connectivity, he added.
The chief minister said the state revenue which stood at about Rs 900 crore when he took over as the chief minister in 2016 has increased to about Rs 2,000 crore in 2018-19.
“As has been projected, think how much will be our revenue when we start earning Rs 15,000 crore per year only from hydropower projects if implemented,” he said.
Khandu blamed “petty politics” played by some vested interests in putting hurdles or stalling power projects in the state.
“I call upon all to shed our politics and join hands with the government to bring in investments and successfully complete all developmental projects,” he said.
The chief minister warned government officials to refrain from conniving with vested interests and indulging in acts hampering projects.
Deputy chief minister Chowna Mein, who also holds the hydropower portfolio, called for united efforts to harness the hydropower potential.
“Sustainable development is the only way forward for humanity and power generation from water is one of the most environment-friendly sources of energy. Hydro energy is economically viable in the long run as the major ingredient, water, is provided by nature and free,” he said.
Mein assured that the government will set up a system where clearances are given in a timely manner and developers welcomed for investment.
The seminar was organised by the state hydropower development department. Ministers, legislators, scientists, research scholars, bureaucrats, forest and environment officials among others attended the event.