Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday said the State has the potential to generate 50,000 MW of hydropower.
Mr. Khandu said that despite being the richest State in the country in terms of hydropower resources that could overhaul its economy, Arunachal Pradesh still has to depend upon the Centre for its sustenance.
He said the State was now producing only 2% of its hydropower potential.
Addressing a seminar on ‘Prosperity of Arunachal Pradesh through accelerated Hydropower development’ in Itanagar, the Chief Minister said hydropower was the future of the State.
“Time has come to shed the dependency syndrome and we should find ways to generate states own resources from the abundant hydropower resources,” Mr. Khandu said.
“For the last 10-15 years, we have been told that Arunachal Pradesh is the powerhouse of India. Where is this powerhouse?”, he asked.
The Chief Minister asked the hydropower development department to prioritise 10 power projects that could be taken up during the next five year period.
“There is no point taking up projects at random. Let us focus on 10 feasible and beneficial projects and we will take these up on mission mode,” he said.
Mr. Khandu, however, advocated that mini and micro hydel projects should also be implemented side by side at places that do not have grid connectivity.
The Chief Minister said that the State revenue which stood at about ₹900 crore when he took over as Chief Minister in 2016, has increased to about ₹2,000 crore in 2018-19.
“As has been projected, think how much will be our revenue when we start earning ₹15,000 crore per year only from hydropower projects if implemented?”, he wondered.
The Chief Minister blamed ‘petty politics’ played by some vested interests in putting hurdles or stalling power projects in the State.
“As the government is stable with AN absolute majority, detractors have nothing to do but play ‘petty politics’ and hamper developmental projects just to harass the ruling government.
“In my opinion those who put hurdles in developmental projects just for the heck of it are anti-nationals. I call upon all, even those in the Opposition, to shed our politics and join hands with the government to bring in investments and successfully complete all developmental projects including hydropower,” he said.
Mr. Khandu warned government officials from the top to the lowest level to refrain from conniving with vested interests and indulging in acts hampering projects.
“I have directed the Chief Secretary to take to task any official found to be misleading the people and hampering implementation of projects,” he said.
Mr. Khandu said that Chinas opposition had deprived Arunachal Pradesh from getting fund from lenders such as World Bank, Asian Development Bank and JICA, but despite such challenges, the State cannot sit idle and should work on modalities for earning revenue from hydropower sector.
Referring to the 2880 MW Dibang multi-purpose project in the State, the Chief Minister informed that during his recent visit to the area, he convinced the project affected people who agreed to withdraw the case filed in the court, to pave way for early execution of the project.
Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, who also holds the Hydropower portfolio, said that the State has been ‘crying’ for lack of resources when the ‘resources’ are right at the doorstep.
Urging all not to look further, he called for united efforts to harness the hydropower potential which is abundant in the State. Mr. Mein said the State government would set up a system where clearances are given in a timely manner and developers are made to feel secure for investment.