KOKRAJHAR, Jan 18 � State Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi, in his recent visit to Chirang, indicated a hike in power tariffs soon to meet the cost of power purchases from outside.
Talking to reporters during his visit to Nagdalbari in Chirang district during the commissioning of a 4-MW mini hydel project on the Champamati river, he said that emphasis has been given to set up mini hydel projects in the State to attain 8 per cent GDP growth for which energy utilisation and procurement would be the key.
He said that 70 per cent of the nearly 1,000 MW needed during peak hours in the State at present has to be procured from outside units running on gas which has become costlier now. In the lower Assam districts, the peak hour demand is 20-30 MW for which mini hydel projects have been chalked out.
As such, in the BTAD region, a few more mini hydel projects are on the anvil. As many as one dozen such projects will come up in the State for which about 98 locations have been spotted during surveys by experts from Roorkie.
He said that an innovative and first-of-its-kind project in the NE region has been executed in the form of the 4-MW Champamati hydel power project which would be followed in other places to promote hydel projects in plain areas on small rivers with multi-purpose utilisation in respect of irrigation, agriculture, tourism, water sports, etc., as per the needs of the area.
The Power Minister praised Hagrama Mohilary, BTC chief for striving for all-round development of the area including the power sector. He added that the 4-MW power will now be purchased and transmitted by the Power Grid of Assam to be utilised in the BTC area.
The minister said that the NTPC project at Salakati installed for coal-based thermal power has been enhanced to generate altogether 1,250 MW using coal to which a separate unit has been added to make the coal of Assam more useful for thermal power stations.
He also informed that the Champamati irrigation project built during 1980s has been revived with multipurpose benefits and now stands as a model in the NE region. The NTPC project at Salakati will become operational by next year as a result of which the State will have a surplus energy support soon.
Chandan Brahma, Transport Minister, said all the progress in the BTC area under the leadership of Hagrama Mohilary is due to people�s participation and the hurdles have been overcome due to the united efforts of the people.
S Jerrate, principal secretary of Power, Assam said that the State has been looking forward to executing mini hydel projects using available resources and considering factors like rehabilitation, hazard-free environment, short gestation period, long-term benefits, low maintenance and input costs.
BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary reiterated his commitment to go ahead with more mini hydel projects in the BTC area to meet the power crisis in the region and support industrial development.