Manmohan’s dream project in limbo

Special Correspondent

He laid foundation for power project

Work on Bongaigaon project yet to take off

NTPC began civil works only last week

NEW DELHI: In an indication of the state of affairs in the Power Ministry, even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s dream project, the 750-MW Bongaigaon power project in Assam, is in a state of neglect after he laid the foundation in January 2006.

Work on the Rs. 3,000-crore project being executed by the National Thermal Power Corporation is yet to take off. It was only after Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh cracked the whip last week did the NTPC begin civil works at the site.

Personal initiative

The project was a personal initiative the Prime Minister in view of his association with the northeast, particularly Assam, to accelerate the pace of development. “It is unfortunate that no progress has taken place on such an important project,” Mr. Ramesh said.

“Now I am personally monitoring it.”

While launching the project, Dr. Singh said he took great pride in the government taking up the venture in this “adopted home of mine.

‘Generous people’

“The people of Assam have been generous and affectionate to me. I hope they will accept this small token of my appreciation for their love and friendship. We will be bringing a Rs. 3,000-crore investment in this project and another Rs. 3,000 crore in the coal sector. Assam will greatly benefit from this massive inflow of investment.”

The capacity of the Bongaigaon project was projected to be harnessed for the entire northeast but that has also not happened.

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