Hydro power can help north-east generate Rs 679 cr annually

Written by Press Trust of India | Guwahati | Updated: Feb 4 2014, 03:46am hrs
Hydro powerThe north-eastern region can generate revenue of Rs 650-670 crore every year by taping hydro power potential. Reuters
The north-eastern region can generate revenue of Rs 650-670 crore every year by taping hydro power potential, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said today.

While addressing a conference here, Ahluwalia said, "This is a region very rich in hydro potential...it will generate huge surplus that needs to be conveyed to the rest of the country. The region will earn a lot of income from this potential.

"What I am told roughly is that every 1,000 mw of generation capacity will generate revenue on the scale of something between Rs 650-670 crore per year. If you have 50,000 mw then the revenue generation is 50 times of this."

The conference on Infrastructure Developments in the North East-Leveraging Opportunities was jointly organised by Planning Commission, Assam government and CII.

Ahluwalia also made a case for improving road connectivity saying it was crucial for power production. "If we have to move big power equipment, it cannot happen without road connectivity," he added.

Neerja Mathur, Chairperson of the Central Electricity Authority said that of 88,000 mw power to be added in the 12th Plan, the contribution from the north-eastern region would be close to 3,000 mw.

Ahluwalia also said that government is closely monitoring the progress by Air India to use Guwahati as a hub for air connectivity, It is expected to be completed by September this year, he added.

Speaking about the new projects in aviation, Ashok Lavasa, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation said that the Airports Authority of India has sanctioned five projects for the region and there are eight more projects for which approval is sought.

"In the 12th Plan period it is planned to improve the air connectivity in the region. It is expected that in the next 10 years, about Rs 5,000 crore will be spent in infrastructure development at airports. There is construction of greenfield airports, development and operationalisation of non operational airports and upgrading and modernisation of existing airports," Lavasa said.

He also urged the state governments to expedite land acquisition process for airports development.

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region Paban Singh Ghatowar said for the air connectivity in the region it has shortlisted some private players to make Guwahati a hub.