NEW DELHI, May 14 � Acknowledging that the Centre was aware of the acute power crisis in Assam, Union Power Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde however rued the delay in execution of the Subansiri (Lower) Hydro Power Project because of the ongoing agitation.
The Power Minister�s intervention came in the Rajya Sabha during a Question Hour discussion on Monday, when faced with protest by Opposition MPs over the power crisis in the State, he said he has issued direction to Power Grid officials to restore the lines.
�I have received information and we have already instructed the Power Grid. I talked to the officials of the Power Grid. Lines will be corrected and power shortage, which has occurred recently will be corrected soon,� he claimed, amidst interruptions.
�Yesterday, I have received information that in Assam, transmission lines from certain areas have collapsed and that is the reason that there has been some trouble in that area. But, it is a fact power from Subansiri and all will be given to Assam during the course of time. However, the Subansiri work has been stopped for the last two months.
�I have been requesting people and the Government to start it. But, the people are agitating unnecessarily. We are prepared to solve the problem by sitting together,� Shinde said.
Earlier, AGP MPs Biren Baishya and Kumar Deepak Das raked up the issue of the ongoing power crisis, even as Bhubaneswar Kalita intervened to add that the crisis was primarily due to collapse of towers in West Bengal. �This electricity problem is due to the breakdown in the transmission lines in Jalpaiguri,� he said.
Interrupting him, Baishya said that for the last several days, people are crying for power. �Even the capital city is dark,� he pointed out.
In response, Minister of State for Power, KC Venugopal said Assam has a projected power shortage of 10.5 per cent, but actual power shortage in the State during peak demand is 5.53 per cent. �It means that the Government of Assam is doing somewhat better in that area to cover the shortage,� he claimed, amidst interruptions by the opposition MPs.
�In the Twelfth Plan, a lot of projects are coming up for Assam. These will benefit the Government of Assam. We are sure that the Government of Assam will benefit from it,� he said.
Earlier, Kumar Deepak Das putting a supplementary question, said power position in Assam is worse. During the last 25 days, people had suffered and it has created uproar in every part of the State.
Would the Government sit with the State Government and take action to resolve the power crisis in Assam? he asked.
Meanwhile, in a separate reply, the Power Ministry has said that 2000 MW Subansiri Lower Project is likely to take over 10 years for completion, due to delay mainly on account of geological surprises and local issues. The project was given for CCEA clearance in September 2003 and is now targeted for commissioning by December 2015.
The other NHPC project which is facing delay is 800 MW Parbati-II hydroelectric project.
Venugopal further confirmed that the Tipaimukh project is on track and scheduled for commissioning in 87 months after investment clearance. The 1500 MW joint venture Tipaimukh, which is opposed by Bangladesh, is under the process of formation and concurrences of CEA. Forest clearance is also under process, he added.