Guwahati: Despite the controversy surrounding the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation’s (NHPC) Lower Subansiri Hydro Power Project, a scramble has begun among power-hungry States for allocation of power from the proposed project, even as the Union Power Ministry allocated power from the project to the Northern, Western, and North Eastern regions. The Ministry of Power (through letter no. 11/01/2002-DO (NHPC) dated 14.07.2009) has distributed power from the 2000 MW Subansiri Lower Hydro Electric Power Project to the States in the three regions, Minister of State for Power Bharatsinh Solanki said during the Rajya Sabha on 13 August 2021.
The Orissa Govt. has objected to the project’s non-allocation of electricity, according to the Minister, who also acknowledged that no power has been provided to Orissa from the project, which has struck a snag following the publishing of an Expert Panel report. According to Solanki, there is no plan to allocate power from this project to Orissa because it would jeopardize the commercial viability of the PGCIL’s high-capacity transmission corridor (6000 MW Biswanath-Chariali to Agra HVDC Bipole Line) for exporting power from the Subansiri, Kameng, and Bhutanese hydroelectric projects to the Northern and Western regions.
As reported last week, Union Environment and Forest (MoEF) Minister Jairam Ramesh has all but ruled out the possibility of halting work on the Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project, saying that all he can do now is insist on mitigation, neutralization, and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) measures to ensure that the project’s negative environmental impact has been mitigated. Stoppages prevent me from becoming a Minister. He stated, “I cannot become a Minister who puts an end to all current initiatives.”