Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Meghalaya urges Centre to expedite power transmission line projects


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New Delhi: The Meghalaya Government has urged the Centre to expedite the World Bank aided power transmission line projects to save the State from frequent load shedding since some of these lines have become too old and weak.

Speaking at the state Power Ministers’ conference here, Meghalaya Minister for Power, Clement R. Marak, said that the hill state has about 1223.76 circuit kilometers (ct-Km) of Extra High Tension (EHT) line comprising of 132KV and above and the transformation capacity at that level is 1615MVA.

As per CEA planning guidelines criteria, there are a number of existing transmission links which need to be strengthened to ensure system stability in the event of any breakdown, he said.

“Some of these have already been included in the North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project to be funded in part by the World Bank and others are being taken up in a phased manner,” Marak said.

The State would request that approval for the World Bank funded project may be expedited so that the work can begin soon, he added.

Referring to the bleak power scenario in the Garo Hills region of the State, Marak said the region is getting its power supply through a 132 KV line from Shillong which is very old and passes through very remote areas with hilly and forested terrain, due to which, the power supply is often disrupted leaving the whole area without power supply for long periods of time causing inconvenience to the public and avoidable resentment against the Government.

In order to improve the quality and reliability of the power supply in the Garo Hills region, the State Government has proposed for inclusion of the 400 KV Transmission line from Killing (Byrnihat) to Nangalbibra in the First Tranche of the North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project (NERPSIP) under World Bank funding and a formal proposal in this regard was submitted to the Ministry of Power last month which should be cleared soon, he added.

Speaking about the power potential of the State, Marak said that Meghalaya has a hydro potential of about 3000 MW out of which the State has been able to tap only 314.70 MW mainly due to resource constraints.

Attempts have been made to further tap this vast potential and meet the State’s requirement by allotting 10 hydro electric projects to private developers and Central PSUs with a total installed capacity of 1104 MW.

The State also has a substantial deposit of coal which can be used for power generation, the Minister said. With the need to have base-load thermal power stations in the State, the Government has allotted 3 thermal power projects to private power developers and one project to NEEPCO with a total installed capacity of 1100 MW, he said.

Marak also demanded special dispensation for the North East states since most of them do not have railway connectivity and the cost of road transport and labour was much higher compared to other States of the country. Another issue of importance is the prescribed time limit for completion of projects, he said.

In Meghalaya, rainfall occurs for 4 to 5 months rendering it extremely difficult to ensure completion within the stipulated time frame.

“Here again, the Ministry is requested to adopt a different dispensation for the North Eastern States so that we are not subjected to penalties for our inability to complete the work in time for reasons beyond our control,” he added.

Addressing the conference, Union Power Minister, Piyush Goyal, urged all States and UTs to work together in a time-bound manner to achieve the goal of 24×7 ‘power for all’.

‘Mission Mode’ approach in a fast-track manner needs to be adopted for solving problems in the energy sector, he said.


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