GUWAHATI, Oct 28 - With the State Assembly polls round the corner, the Assam Government has decided not to increase power tariff in this financial year, while a series of measures have been taken to augment the power distribution network all over the State.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, State Power Minister Rakibul Hussain said that the Assam State Power Distribution Company Limited might have to face revenue deficit because of the decision of the Government. But the Government has decided to fill up the revenue gap by providing required funds so that the people of the State do not face the burden of power tariff hike, he said.
The Power Minister said that the Government has chalked out a plan to ensure round-the-clock power supply to the people from next year. For achieving the goal, the Government would have to ensure availability of power and augment the power distribution network.
Hussain revealed that the power demand in Assam has increased substantially in the last decade. In 2001, the peak hour power demand in the State was around 600 MW and that has increased to 1,450 MW now. During the same period, the number of connections has increased from 6 lakhs to 33 lakhs. He pointed out that the change of lifestyle of the people also added to the power demand more and more people have started using electrical gadgets and the air conditioner is no longer a gadget of the rich.
The Minister admitted that power generation in the State is not adequate to cope with the demand and the Government has chalked out a plan to procure power from outside. He asserted that availability of power would not be a problem to achieve the goal of providing 24-hour power supply as �we have already initiated steps to procure required power�.
Hussain admitted that only availability would not solve the problem and the distribution network would have to be augmented. He revealed that the State has been divided into 6 zones so that the distribution network in each zone can be improved separately. The major problems in the zone comprising Udalguri, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur and Darrang has been improved considerably, while the problems of the Upper Assam districts have been looked into. He claimed that the distribution problems all over the State would be over by the end of January next year.
Hussain further said that though 30 transformers each to the Assembly constituencies were provided under a Chief Minister�s special package, but there were problems of transportation of the same from Guwahati to interior places. That is why, the Government has decided to modify the scheme to provide the transformers to each constituency directly, he added.