Aizawl, Jan 11 (IANS): The State-owned North Eastern Electric Power Corp (NEEPCO) would soon restart work at Mizoram's Tuirial hydroelectric project that was suspended June 2004 due to law-and-order problems, an official said here on Monday.
"After the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, the Public Investment Board (PIB) recommended the revival of the 60 MW power project," a senior NEEPCO official told reporters.
He said: "The cabinet committee on infrastructure revised the cost of the hydroelectric project to Rs.914 crore due to the delay in resumption of work."
The Tuirial hydroelectric project was initially taken up by NEEPCO with an estimated investment cost of Rs 369 crore in July 1998.
"The work was suspended due to adverse law and order problems arising out of illegal demands by a section of people for crop compensation in the riverine reserved forests," an official paper of NEEPCO said. "Till June 2004, prior to postponement of work, 30 percent of the project work was completed," the paper added.
According to these official documents, after more than six and a half years of effort, the project was finally cleared at the instance of the prime minister and the Union Power Minister.
"The much expected power project is scheduled to be commissioned within three months from now," the official added.
The Mizoram government has already signed an agreement to purchase the power from this upcoming project at the rates of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC).
The forthcoming project is expected to help the power starved mountainous state and mitigate to some extent the electricity shortage in the neighbouring northeastern States.
The government last year had signed an agreement with the state-run National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to set up a 460 MW power project at Lawngtlai in southern Mizoram.
"Since the demand has risen from 65 MW to 100 MW during peak hours, power sources need to be increased. The government had signed an agreement with NTPC to set up a power project in southern Mizoram," a power department official said.
The project, to be installed at a cost of Rs 30 billion, is scheduled to be commissioned by 2013.