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Hydropower is most potential resources for a Aatmanirbhar Arunachal Pradesh- Pema Khandu

Khandu said that the hydropower potential of the state if utilized sensibly and scientifically can become the game-changer for a revenue-starved state like Arunachal Pradesh.

MONIGONG- Chief Minister Pema Khandu today reiterated that hydropower is one of the most potential resources for Aatmanirbhar Arunachal Pradesh and the way forward to development.

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Joining the joyous celebration of Podi Barbi of the Bokar (Adi) community at Monigong in Shi-Yomi district today, Khandu said that the hydropower potential of the state if utilized sensibly and scientifically can become the game-changer for a revenue-starved state like Arunachal Pradesh.

Also Read- CM dedicates Sumbachu Hydropower Project in Zemithang

“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,” he said.

Khandu revealed that as many as five hydropower projects are in pipeline in the district, specifically in the region adjoining Tato, the district headquarters. These 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).

He informed that all the five projects will be executed by the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO), a Government of India enterprise, replacing private agencies engaged earlier.

“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 only 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.

Also Read- China’s power project on Siang river will have adverse effects- Pema Khandu

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% share of free power, Shi-Yomi district will exclusively benefit from the 2% – 1% from the state government and 1% from the project developer – as incorporated in the state power policy for local area development.

He pointed that a 2% share from about 2500 MW of power generation would be huge and can entirely change the scenario in the district.

“Our objective is 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.

Responding to a four-point memorandum demanding upgradation of the Monigong General Ground, construction of a new festival ground, a multipurpose hall and gallery in Pidi circle  and creation of a new administrative circle called Pangja submitted by the locals, Khandu assured that all will be fulfilled.

Also Read- People affected by hydropower projects will be compensated handsomely; Power Minister

“I assure that the new administrative circle will be approved next year but let us develop this General Ground for multipurpose uses. Instead of going for a new festival ground, this General Ground can be developed in such a way that it can also be used for all festivals and functions. Rest assured, a multipurpose hall and gallery in Pidi circle will also be sanctioned soon,” he said.

Acknowledging the sporting talents inhibit in youths of the area, many of whom have excelled in all levels. Khandu also assured requisite sports infrastructure and facilities in the district. To begin with, he announced to build one ‘footsal’ complex at Monigong to hone soccer skills of the local youths.

Also present on the occasion were local legislator and Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly Passang Dorjee Sona and MLA Ojing Tayeng.

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