Agartala: If Tripura
has its way, one of the smallest states of the country will soon
be supplying surplus power from two of its projects in the
northeast to the rest of India - through Bangladesh. The state has
asked the centre to persuade the Bangladesh government to evolve a
mechanism for this.
State-owned ONGC's 726 MW plant in Palatana in south Tripura has
begun generating electricity from its first unit and by June,
would be at its full capacity. Also, state-run North East Electric
Power Corporation (NEEPCO) is setting up a 104 MW gas-based
project at Monarchak in western Tripura that would start
generating power by this year-end.
"To evacuate the power from Tripura to the national grid at
Bongaigaon in western Assam to transmit electricity to various
northeastern states, drawing the transmission lines through hilly
terrains and forests is an uphill task," Tripura Power Minister
Manik Dey told IANS.
"To overcome the electricity transmission problems, it would be
much easier to send out power to the other parts of India via
Bangladesh. We have asked the central government to talk to the
Bangladesh government to evolve a mechanism in this regard.
"The central government is studying the matter," Dey added.
The Palatana project is a hallmark of cooperation between India
and Bangladesh, which ensured smooth passage of heavy project
equipment and turbines to Palatana through its territory by
waterways from Haldia port in West Bengal.
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar had earlier said the
Bangladesh government had sought electricity from the Palatana
project, 60 km south of capital Agartala.
"Transmission of power from the Palatana power project to various
northeastern states is a big problem," Sudhindra Kumar Dube,
managing director of the ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC), told
OTPC is floated jointly by ONGC, the Tripura government and
Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Service Limited (IL&FS) to
set up the project.
"A 400 KV high transmission power line (650 km) has been drawn up
to Silchar in southern Assam from Palatana to connect with the
Bongaigaon national grid to distribute the electricity to various
"To connect the transmission line with the national grid, a
sub-station is being set up at Byrnihat on the Assam-Meghalaya
border and another at Missa in Assam."
Dube said the development and operation of the transmission system
would be undertaken by North East Transmission Company Limited, a
joint venture of OTPC, the Power Grid Corporation of India and the
northeastern region beneficiary states.
"We are ready to supply power from the first unit (363 MW) of the
project. Now it would depend on the NERLDC (North Eastern Regional
Load Despatch Centre) to distribute power among the northeastern
states," Dube said.
"Production of power from the second unit (363 MW) of the plant
would start by June," he added.
According to him, generation of power from the power projects
combined with linked transmission plan is slated to bring in
investments of around Rs.9,000 crore into the region.
Tripura, whose current peak hour demand is around 200 MW, would
also be a power surplus state after the commissioning of the
"Based on the experience of the Palatana power project, OTPC has
finalised a plan to set up 2,000 MW capacity power projects in
northeastern states or elsewhere by 2017," Dube said.
(Sujit Chakraborty can be contatcted at firstname.lastname@example.org)