The demand for power in the North East region will rise to the tune of 4,000 MW in the next five years with increase in electrification, North Eastern Council economic adviser W Synrem said today. “It is projected that the demand of power in the region will substantially increase to the tune of 3,500-4,000 MW in a span of five years, as we progress towards electrification in villages and increase the number of industries,” Synrem said at a conference here. As of March this year, he said, 40,140 villages (96 per cent) out of the 42,435 villages in the region have been electrified, even as Sikkim and Tripura have achieved 100 per cent, while in Arunachal Pradesh, it is only 77 per cent. The North Eastern Regional Power Committee, in its report for October last year, had stated the power requirement for the region was 2,553 MW with availability of 2,525 MW, resulting in a shortfall of 1.1 per cent (28 MW).
“Many towns and villages are yet to be electrified, and those who are electrified, do not get electricity 24 hours in a day,” Synrem said. He said NEC has contributed to generation of 694.5 MW of power, and another six renewable resources energy projects with capacity of 6 MW are expected to be completed within this financial year. The NEC has also taken up survey and investigation works of potential hydro projects in the region. “Out of 1,678 MW carried out for investigation, 873 MW have been completed, and 805 MW are in various stages of implementation,” Synrem said.
He said, the NE region has a long way to go in terms of power generation, as only three per cent potential has been tapped till date, according to the Central Electric Authority, which has indicated that only 2,000 MW has been generated from a total capacity of 63,257 MW. The NEC has entrusted the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd to survey and implement the Rs 11,348.5-crore North Eastern Regional Power Sector Investment Programme, funded by the Centre and the World Bank, he added.