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Kohima, 12 February (MTNews): Recognizing the critical importance of uninterrupted power supply, Er Moa Aier, Engineer-in-Chief of the Department of Power, announced that the State Government has authorized the purchase of additional power from the spot market outside the North East (NE) region on an emergency basis, despite the higher cost compared to power acquired through long-term purchase agreements.

However, Aier acknowledged that additional power in the spot market is not always readily available, and availability varies from time to time. Therefore, the department shall be making all efforts to buy as per availability on the spot market to ease the power situation in the State.

This response comes following the ultimatum served by the Angami Students’ Union over erratic power supply.

‘Power shortage alarming this year as hydro stations underperform’ Commenting on the ongoing power shortage crisis in Nagaland, Er Aier highlighted that the power shortage in the State has reached an alarming stage due to hydro-generating stations not being able to generate to their full potential. He said several thermal power stations in the region had also shut down for maintenance, which has added to the acute power shortage.

“As the North East Region is largely dependent on hydro power, shortages are a perennial problem during the lean seasons every year. However, the shortages have been much more acute this year. The shutdown of a major thermal power station for maintenance has worsened the power availability situation,” he explained.

He also highlighted how availability and supply have been increasing every year, but the rate of increase in demand has been much more.

“For instance, the peak demand of the State during the 1990s was only about 60MW. But as of now, the peak demand has increased by 300% to 180MW. However, the availability is about 100MW only during peak hours. Correspondingly, the cost of power purchase is also increasing year by year,” he added.

In this regard, the Department requested all consumers to not only judiciously use electricity but also diligently cooperate with the Department for prompt payment of their monthly electricity bills.

“The Department has also been requesting all Village Councils through the District Administration to help and assist the Department in clearing all vegetation such as trees and bamboos near power transmission and distribution lines, as maximum interruptions are caused by such vegetation,” he added.

He also explained that the State at present is dependent 90% on the import of power and therefore appealed that no organization(s) should disrupt power installations, as it will only lead to more power instability.

Moreover, Er Moa Aier revealed ambitious plans for long-term solutions, including the initiation of several hydroelectric projects within the state, including new transmission and distribution lines and substations for better power service.

“Cooperation please be extended to the Department in the interest of the people in general,” he appealed.

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