Sitharaman in Assam, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld

Haflong: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday stressed the need for increased and efficient power generation and distribution, saying they are as integral to economic growth as donation blood is used to save lives.

While performing the “bhoomi pujan” (groundbreaking ceremony) of a 120 MW hydroelectric project in Dima Hasao district, Assam, she claimed that this would not only kick off the development of the region, but would benefit the entire northeast.

The Center and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a loan of US $ 23.1 crore in December 2020 to increase power generation capacity in Assam through the construction of the Lower Kopili power plant in Longku to Dima Hasao.

Sitharaman assured that the Union government “will obtain more funds from abroad, if necessary, giving its guarantee” for the success of the project, which will be developed by Assam Power Generation Corporation Ltd.

Efficient electricity generation and distribution “is an integral part of the economy because donating blood saves lives. The 120 MW power plant will not only lead to the development of the district but of the entire northeast, ”she said.

The Union Minister also laid the groundwork for the modernization of a 90 km road from Haflong Tinali to Lower Haflong.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, speaking on the occasion, said that this “run-of-river project on Kopili will help increase the production of clean energy from 469 gigawatt hours (GWh) d ‘by 2025’ and reduce greenhouse gas emissions every year.

“The affordable and clean electricity generated by the project will significantly improve the quality of life, promote businesses and increase employment opportunities in the state,” he noted.

Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sitharaman for helping Assam with foreign aid programs, he said the Center had provided 1,700 crore rupees out of the estimated project cost of 2,200 crore rupees.

Sarma said the profits from the project will be fully used for the development of Dima Hasao.

The state government, over the next nine months, will spend Rs 900 crore on road construction in Dima Hasao and Rs 250 crore on the construction of the Umrongso-Lanka artery, the CM added.

Sitharaman then launched an RTPS (Right to Public Services) portal here, and said the Center had approved the construction of a four-lane bridge, spanning three kilometers, over the Brahmaputra River in Kamrup district, to be built at an estimated cost of Rs. 3,094 crores.

The bridge will facilitate direct connectivity between the internationally renowned silk city of Sualkuchi and the industrial region of Ammingaon with Guwahati and the international airport, she said.

It will also decongest the roads in Guwahati, reducing travel time for daily commuters coming from the neighboring districts of Nalbari and Barpeta, she said.

During the day, Sitharaman and Sarma both jointly inspected the work undertaken to build another six-lane extradosed bridge over the Brahmaputra River, connecting Guwahati and North Guwahati near the grounds of Sonaram High School.

Funded by the New Development Bank, the 8.4 km long bridge, to be built by the state PWD (Roads) at an estimated cost of Rs 2,608 crore, will be the “first of its kind” in the northeast. , according to an official statement.

The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for the bridge on February 9, 2019 and it is expected to be completed by August 2023.

The iconic bridge, when completed, will significantly ease traffic, in addition to facilitating the safe and smooth movement of people across the river, the statement added.

Referring to the RTPS portal, the Union Minister said he would improve the delivery of some public services in Assam and commended the state government for this initiative.

“It’s very impressive to see the pace at which development projects are moving in the state,” she said and appreciated the Sarma-led waiver for her “holistic and inclusive approach” to growing the business. Assam.

The Minister of Finance also inaugurated the Assam excise and tax portal, set up as part of a project financed by the World Bank.

This project will also benefit citizens through better delivery of services provided by public institutions, she noted.

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