GUWAHATI, Aug 4 � It seems that the State Government is not at all sincere in pursuing the State�s interests in respect to the Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project (LSHEP).
Significantly, despite its claim of extending all sorts of help to the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) in executing the LSHEP, it has not been able to sign the final Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with this Central Sector power company on the project.
All these facts have come to the fore through a recent State Government reply to a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by the city-based consulting engineer JN Khataniar on LSHEP matters.
The NHPC had to go for revising the draft of the MoU twice in the face of the opposition of the State Government on certain points � specially on allocation of 600 MW of LSHEP power, in addition to 25 MW of free power, and, adverse downstream impacts of the project.
NHPC Executive Director (ED) (Planning) Kamal Kapoor informed Assam Government on November 10, 2005 (Ref No NH/PD/10/Sub-L/7974) that the power company had already approached the Ministry of Power (MoP) on the issue of allocation of free power to the states concerned.
Since, NHPC is bound by the MoP decision for whatever firm power are allotted, the clause i.e. 6 (V) of the first revised draft agreement may be retained, he said.
On April 25, 2006, the State Government told the NHPC (letter No PEL. 67/03/Pt/196) that there should be a firm commitment from the NHPC about allocation of 600 MW of power to Government of Assam. In this connection, it referred to the Assam Power Minister�s speech delivered at the 56 th NEREB Board meeting held on February 4, �06.
The Minister said in his above speech � �As mentioned earlier, Assam has already given an indent for 600 MW of power from this project and this should be provided for considering all the facilitations that has been provided by the State Government, for the implementation of such a critical Central; Sector Hydel Project.�
The Minister further said that it would not be possible on Assam Government�s part to sign the MoU without a firm commitment on allocation of this amount of power.