Bangladesh–India alternative transmission line sought
01 February 2015, Nirapad News: Power Ministers of Indian northeastern states have unanimously sought approval of Power Ministry to establish alternative transmission network between Tripura and West Bengal via Bangladesh to strengthen inter-regional transmission network.
Tripura Power Minister Manik Dey told media here today that Northeast Regional Power Committee (NERPC) meeting, which concluded yesterday in Guwahati, resolved to write to the central government for alternative transmission network for the region, said a Times of India report. “It will not only establish connectivity with national grid for providing upgraded connectivity in transmission system but will also reduce the line length of about 500 km. The region is now connected with Bongaigoan grid passing through high terrain and forest land. The alternative line up to West Bengal via Bangladesh through plain land will facilitate the region to have stable and reliable grid connection, Mr Dey stated. The NERPC contemplated that erection of transmission line through Bangladesh will further boost friendly relation with Bangladesh and offer them benefit in transmission of power from the high voltage double circuit line of India on its territory. Tripura government has demanded immediate alteration of US dollar payment for gas purchase in the power generation companies and till modification, the Government of India not will allow any further increase in gas price. “We are using domestic gas, which belong to India but in 2010 suddenly the then government introduced dollar payment to natural gas exploration companies like ONGC and GAIL. Since it is not imported gas necessarily payment is needed to make by Indian rupee only,” Mr Dey argued. He however, stated that distribution utilities are heavily burdened with accumulated outstanding dues to central public sector undertakings and other power generating companies due to continuous hike of power purchase cost. Mr Dey suggested paying one time interest free loan to the states to square up the outstanding dues. Similarly, to reduce the tariff burden from the consumer, Dey proposed to pay the entire cost of Agra-Biswanath Chariali 800 KV transmission line from power system development fund.