Northeastern states urge Centre for power transmission lines via Bangladesh

Agartala, October 13 (IANS) Northeastern states have urged the central government to erect power transmission lines via Bangladesh to connect the region with the national grid to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply, a Tripura Minister said here on Friday.


“Power ministers of the northeastern states at a meeting in Shillong resolved to urge the central government to erect transmission lines via Bangladesh to connect the national grid in West Bengal to transmit electricity between the northeast region and other parts of India without any hitches,” Tripura Power Minister Manik Dey told the media.


“If the transmission lines are brought via Bangladesh the distance would be reduced by 500 km and would also help to avoid various other technical problems. This would help the northeastern states get stable and reliable grid connection.”


The northeastern states are landslide prone and witness heavy floods and monsoon rains, which create problems to transmit power to and fro from the region, he added.


Power ministers of northeastern states and top power sector state and union government officials met at the two-day 18th North-Eastern Regional Power Committee (NERPC) meeting in Meghalaya capital Shillong on October 10-11.


NERPC Chairman and Meghalaya Power Minister Comingone Ymbon presided over the meeting.


The Tripura Minister said there is a 400 kV double circuit around 100 km transmission line (since 2013) between West Bengal’s Baharampur and northern Bangladesh Bheramara (under Khulna division).


Through the Baharampur-Bheramara transmission lines India has been supplying 500 MW power to Bangladesh.


The state-owned Power Grid Corporation has recently approved an investment of Rs 198.48 crore for setting up an India portion of the Baharampur-Bheramara (Bangladesh) second 400 kV double circuit transmission line.


Dey said the NERPC meeting also resolved to urge the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Union Power Ministry and other government owned power companies to develop the power transmission system replacing the very old transmission lines in the northeastern states.


He said that the meeting decided to develop the Emergency Restoration System in the northeastern states to restore power supply at the earliest after cyclones, natural disasters, heavy monsoon rains and floods.


The Tripura Power Minister said all the northeastern states have been facing problems and difficulties due to huge delay in release of funds by the Union Power Ministry while providing sanctions for centrally-sponsored schemes like Integrated Power Development Scheme, Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY).


He said though the Tripura government had submitted a detailed project report under DDUGJY of Rs 903 crore to provide electricity to unelectrified habitations that would cover 100 per cent households, only Rs 74.12 crore had been received, or 8.21 per cent of the funds required by the state.


At present, there are projects being implemented in the northeastern region with a funding pattern of 90:10 ratio — 90 per cent funded by the Centre and 10 per cent by the states. There are also projects where the funding is on a 50:50 and 80:20 basis.


“The power ministers of the northeastern states have urged the Centre to sanction projects with a funding pattern of 90:10 ratio only,” the Minister added.