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Northeast power ministers to meet to overcome huge deficit

Shillong, Aug 10 (IANS) Power ministers from the eight northeastern states will assemble in this Meghalaya capital Wednesday to find ways to overcome the huge power deficit in the region.

‘There are various agendas but the focus would be to develop transmission lines and develop new power projects to meet the power requirements,’ Meghalaya Power Minister A.T. Mondal told IANS Tuesday.

Mondal, who is also the chairman of the North Eastern Regional Power Committee, said that members of the technical committee will meet Wednesday and brainstorm on how to develop new transmission lines and power projects.

He said the northeast must use its immense power potential in a collective manner to remove hurdles in power generation.

‘We need to work together to get better results and all power ministers of all the northeastern states, including Sikkim, would attend the two-day meeting,’ Mondal said.

The northeast has the potential of producing 70,000 MW of power, enough to light up half of India, experts say.

But the region is reeling under power shortage due to slow development of new power projects. The region is producing power just two to three percent of its actual potential due to various bottlenecks.

Earlier, state-owned North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) chief and managing director I.P. Barooah advocated a uniform power policy for the eight northeastern states.

‘The region must think in terms of having a uniform hydel power policy so that the power sector can be developed in a coordinated manner,’ he said.

Pointing out that the region has the potential to ‘light up half of India’, he said the northeast as a whole has the potential of producing about 70,000 MW of power.

‘Arunachal Pradesh alone has the potential of producing 50,000 MW of power, but most of the proposed hydel power projects here have hit roadblocks,’ he said.

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