GUWAHATI, Jul 14 : The World Bank on June 24 approved a $470 million loan for the North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project. According to sources it said that the board, which sits in Washington DC, USA, cleared the project, which aims to increase the delivery of electricity in Northeast India.
Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director in India said, “Despite being well-endowed with rich natural re- sources, the Northeastern region (NER) in India lags behind the rest of the country on growth and investment climate parameters. The Project will support the Northeastern States get better access to power, allow businesses to grow, and jobs to be created for the overall economic development of the region, currently constrained by power shortages.”
The entire project will get implemented through POWERGRID and the total project cost is said to be $952.2 million, of which the World Bank will provide $470 million and the rest will come from the Centre.
The bank said historical under-investment in the pow-er sector has imposed a heavy toll on the availability and reliability of power supply in the region. “While generation capacity is slowly being increased, there have been in- adequate investments in the transmission, sub-transmission and distribution network in the region because of factors like limited financial resources. As a result, the existing intrastate transmission and distribution infra- structure in all the northeastern states has bottlenecks with regard to inadequate capacity or lack of capacity, which constrains power delivery to the consumers,” it said.
“The project supports transmission and distribution investments that will increase the availability of power in the participating States and hence creates the conditions for the expansion of electricity access to unserved households. Further, increased availability of electricity supply will help spur growth of its productive uses in the region, leading to inclusive growth and sustainable development,” `said Rohit Mittal, Senior Energy Specialist and Kwawu Mensan Gaba, Lead Energy Specialist and World Bank’s Task Team leaders for the project. “The project objective of upgrading and expanding the power transmission network in the NER will lead to better integration of the region with the rest of the country.” they added.
Courtesy- The Northeast Today