Mokokchung, 9 December (MTNews): The 25th North Eastern Regional Power Committee (NERPC) meeting, chaired by Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, delved into critical issues shaping the power sector scenario in the Northeast. The session, held in Kolkata, focused on addressing challenges and capitalizing on opportunities to propel the region’s progress in the power industry.

Mein underscored the imperative of collective efforts for a promising and sustainable future in the power sector. An official communiqué released after the meeting outlined pivotal decisions aimed at advancing the growth of the power sector in the North Eastern Region, ensuring a reliable electricity supply, and elevating the standard of living for residents.

Key initiatives highlighted during the discussions included “Mock Black Start Exercises aligned with IEGC (Indian Electricity Grid Code) 2023,” signaling a commitment to power sector preparedness. Mein also emphasized proactive measures such as the installation of surge arresters and the reconductoring of transmission lines to High-Temperature Low Sag (HTLS) standards in the region.

During the session, the NERPC Chairman announced the finalization of the Guwahati Islanding Scheme, aligned with the Power Ministry’s directive. Stakeholders were urged to expedite the scheme’s implementation and explore the feasibility of similar Islanding Schemes for other Northeastern state capitals.

Expressing gratitude, Mein acknowledged the Ministry of Power’s support for approving full funding, covering 100% of costs, for the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition/Energy Management Systems (SCADA/EMS) upgradation across all State Load Dispatch Centers (SLDCs) in the Northeastern States. This significant project, with an estimated budget of approximately Rs 80 crore per state, marks a substantial leap in fortifying the power infrastructure of the region.

Addressing challenges in commissioning hydroelectric projects, Mein encouraged project developers to adopt innovative and environment-friendly designs, aligning with India’s non-fossil energy capacity targets. He commended the State Government of Arunachal Pradesh for signing MoUs for the development of 12 hydro projects with NHPC, SJVN, and NEEPCO, a commendable stride toward realizing the country’s energy goals.

Recognizing the unique challenges of the NER, Mein affirmed the NERPC forum’s pivotal role in collective problem-solving. He highlighted the Revamped Distribution Sector Schemes (RDSS), aimed at reducing Aggregate Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses, and urged Distribution Companies and State governments to prioritize settling outstanding bills for sustainable business operations. Additionally, he initiated the formation of the Power Ministers’ Forum for the North Eastern Region, aiming to effectively address issues in the power sector.

The meeting, hosted by NTPC Ltd and the NERPC Secretariat at The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata, witnessed the participation of Ministers of Power from Northeastern states, including Nandita Gorlosa of Assam, Abu Taher Mondal of Meghalaya, Ratan Lal Nath of Tripura, and KG Kenye of Nagaland.

Notable attendees included Advisor to Power (Arunachal) Balo Raja, NERPC Member Secretary Kishore B Jagtap, NTPC Director (Finance) Jaikumar Srinivasan, and representatives from Central and State Governments, and Power Utilities.

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