Rijiju against big power projects, favours 300-500 MW projects

Guwahati:  Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Friday said he is “traditionally” against construction of big dams in North East and favoured smaller ones with 300-500 MW capacities.
“Traditionally I am not for big hydro power projects in North East. I am not in favour of 4,000 MW or 5,000 MW projects. I am fine if one or two big projects come up in the region with consultations with the public,” Rijiju said at the Infrastructure Conclave by industry chamber PHDCCI here.
He supported construction of smaller or mid-level projects in the range of 300 MW or 500 MW capacities in North East.
His comments come at a time when the country’s largest hydro power project the 2,000 MW Lower Subansiri Hydel Power Project long Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border at Subansiri river is sailing through rough waters and the work has been stalled since December 2011 due to protests in Assam.
“NHPC has lost Rs 7,000 crore due to delay. If a country’s Mini-Ratna category PSU like NHPC is facing a situation like this, then it is a very serious issue,” the Minister said.
The Union minister of State for Home said the Centre will look into the issue of NGOs getting foreign money and creating obstruction in construction of the project.
In August, Rijiju had alleged that the ongoing protest against the Lower Subansiri Hydel Power Project was being carried out by “some NGOs who took money from international agencies” and “are working against national interest”.
At that time, he had supported construction of the Subansiri project and said protests were happening because probably NHPC didn’t communicate properly many technical aspects to the agitating people in Assam and that there would be no danger to them.
Construction work of the ambitious project at Gerukamukh along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border on Subansiri river has been stalled since December 2011 after protests by local residents and many groups fearing safety and downstream impact. (PTI)

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