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Arunachal: Chowna Mein proposes to carry out feasibility study for transmission line between India and Bhutan

GUWAHATI-  Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister and Minister-In-Charge of Power, Chowna Mein proposed the NERPC to carry out a feasibility study for the establishment of a suitable transmission line ( Tawang-Bhutan 132 KV International connectivity) between Lumla in Tawang (India) and 600 MW Kholongchu Hydro Electric Power Station in Bhutan which is about 40 KMs aerially from Lumla and to come out with a tangible policy decision as per norms associated with international exchange of Power.

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In the 22nd meeting of North East Regional Power Committee held in Guwahati, He also requested the members of the Regional Committee to support this idea as it will help to make a pragmatic initiative and improve the reliability of both the Grids of India and that of Bhutan besides meeting the demand reliability which is a huge concern for reliability with serious operational challenges as the upcoming 132 KV transmission line from Khuppi to Tawang under Comprehensive Scheme would pass through snow clad Sela Pass.

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The Meeting was chaired by Chairman NERPC, Chief Minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio and attended by Power Ministers from North East Region, power developers and senior Govt officers from the Power Departments of the North Eastern States.

In his speech, Mein congratulated NEEPCO for successful commissioning of 600 MW Kameng Hydro Electric Project by putting the last and final unit into commercial operation on 12th February 2021.  He also requested NEEPCO to carry on the same tempo to take up all the new projects in Arunachal Pradesh entrusted to them namely, 120 MW Nafra HEP, 90 MW New Malling HEP in Tawang and 330 MW Kuru HEP.

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He said that the construction of 2000 MW Subansiri Lower Hydro Electric Project resumed in October 2019 by National Hydro Power Corporation and informed that two of its unit with a capacity of 500 MW would become operational by August 2022 and also impress upon them to work hard further to ensure completion of the entire project in August 2023 as scheduled.

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Further stating that the reliability of Grid in the State is a persistent issue because of its long radial feeder starting from RHEP (Ranganadi Hydro Electric Project) to Namsai, as this single feeder caters to the power needs of more than 50% of the State, he said that Arunachal Pradesh needs more inter- connections with the North Eastern Regional Grid.

He also expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Power, Government of India and to the NERPC forum for approving two of the inter connections projects that were placed before the forum in the 20th Technical Coordination Committee meeting which were subsequently approved in 20th NEPRC meeting in 2019 namely, Chapakhowa-Roing 132 KV Line and Kathalguri-Namsai 220 KV DC Line.

He further said to extend all support to complete Chapakhowa-Roing 132 KV Line in scheduled time by September 2022 and expressed hope that the works on Kathalguri – Namsai 220 KV DC Line will begin soon paving the way for timely completion of the project by Power Grid.

He also urged the Power Grid to find ways and means to complete Restoration of Pasighat-Roing 132 KV Transmission Line which were damaged along Dotung River Bank in Lower Dibang Valley in April 2020 before coming monsoon to prevent further damage.

While acknowledging the POWERGRID, the Consultant cum Project implementing agency for doing a commendable works despite hurdles and bottlenecks under Comprehensive Scheme for Development of Transmission and Distribution, he further urged them to revisit some approach taken so far for the benefit of all and suggested a mile-stone based implementation planning with customization to suit local conditions and topography.

Stating that Arunachal Pradesh is a young state in the area of transmission system development, he said that however, despite that we have achieved significant development in the field of infra-structure in other areas and have gained momentum significantly to catch up with the sister states of North East and the rest of the country as well. He further stated that the demand for electrical power is fast gaining and shall gain in leap and bounds with the development by 2030 and accordingly State Govt have placed plan for augmentation of the Transmission system up to 2030 under the guidance of the Ministry of Power, Govt of India.

Among others, the meeting was attended by Commissioner (Power), Kaling Tayeng, H R Bado, CE(P) TPMZ, Tasso Hinda, CE (P) Comprehensive, T K Tara, SE (E) Transmission and N. Perme, SE (E) SLDC. The meeting was hosted by North Eastern Electrical Power Corporation Limited.

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