A few decades ago, an electronic complex in Salt Lake City on the eastern fringes of Kolkata was frowned upon by the Government of the day at the Centre, which felt that a sensitive project of this kind could not be located close to an international border - a border that was at least 90 kms away.
Signalling changed perceptions today, work is apace at the 100-MW gas-based power project in one of India’s smallest states, Tripura, and at a location which is less than a kilometre away from the Bangladesh border.
This is, perhaps, unavoidable for a State like Tripura, which has an international border around 84 per cent of its State’s boundary.
Spread over 200 acres in West Tripura’s Sepoyjola district, the Monarchak project is now throbbing with activity even as it provides employment to nearly 400 skilled and unskilled workers of whom nearly 50 per cent are locals.
The project, which has had somewhat mixed fortunes (having been conceived as a 500 MW project before being pared down to its present size owing to ‘non-availability of the requisite amount of natural gas’), is now being implemented by the National Electrical Energy Power Corporation.
Power produced from this project and at Palatana, will be utilised by the north-eastern States mainly. BHEL officials working on the project are trying to kick off the implementation process by March 2013, though realistic estimates push back the schedule to October 2013.