Itanagar, Dec 7 (IANS): Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday said that five hydropower projects with a total generation capacity of 2626 MW, which are now in pipeline in the state’s Shi-Yomi district, would greatly benefit the northeastern region.
Addressing a function in the Shi-Yomi district, the Chief Minister said that the huge hydropower potential of the state if utilised sensibly and scientifically can become the game-changer for a revenue-starved state like Arunachal Pradesh.
He reiterated that hydropower is one of the most potential resources for an ‘Aatmanirbhar Arunachal Pradesh' and the way forward to development.
“Yes, we have challenges in terms of difficult terrains and topography. We need to convert these challenges into resources and hydropower is one way of doing it,” Khandu said.
The Chief Minister said that the five hydropower projects, which are in pipeline in the Shi-Yomi district, would be executed by the government-owned North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), replacing private agencies engaged earlier.
These hydropower projects are Tato-I Hydro Electric Project (186 MW), Tato-II (700 MW), Heo (240 MW), Naying (1000 MW) and Hirong Hydro Electric Project (500 MW).
“These projects, in fact, were to be executed by private companies that had entered into MoUs with previous state governments but they failed. We made it a point that only trustworthy agencies with expertise and central government back-up will be engaged.
Hence, with the support of the central government under Narendra Modi, we are roping in only central government enterprises like NEEPCO, NHPC, SJVN and others to develop hydropower potential in the state,” he said.
Urging the people of the area to support and cooperate with the executing agencies, Khandu said that while the state as a whole will benefit, especially with its 12 per cent share of free power, Shi-Yomi district will exclusively benefit from the one per cent to two per cent from the state government and one per cent from the project developer - as incorporated in the state power policy for local area development.
He pointed out that a two per cent share from about 2500 MW of power generation would be huge and can entirely change the scenario in the district.
“Our objective is the development of our villages. The more we (state government) earn, the more we invest in developmental projects,” Khandu added.
He informed that in order to bring in development in rural areas of the state, the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) are being strengthened with more power and finance. Expressing hope that proposed hydropower projects will start functioning soon, Khandu assured that once it happens, funds allocated to PRIs will exponentially grow each year.
“The state’s revenue in 2016 was Rs 900 crore. Then we formed our government and went for drastic reforms. You will not believe, in 2023 our state-owned revenue clocked Rs 3500 crore,” he informed.
Acknowledging the sporting talents inhibited in youths of the area, many of whom have excelled in all levels, Khandu also assured requisite sports infrastructure and facilities in the district.