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Monday, July 15, 2024

Ratan Seeks Centre’s Support for Power Infrastructure development*


BY TC News Desk

Agartala, 9th July 2024:   During the recent North Eastern Power Ministers’ conference in Guwahati, Tripura’s Power Minister, Ratan Lal Nath, made a strong appeal to the Central Government for greater support in reforming and developing the state’s power infrastructure. Addressing Union Power Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Nath highlighted several critical issues and proposals to strengthen Tripura’s power sector.

Nath drew attention to the drastic rise in gas prices purchased from GAIL for power generation. Until 2022, the cost of gas was $2.90 per MMBTU, with a 40% subsidy for North Eastern states reducing it to $1.74 per MMBTU. However, since 2022, the price surged to $6.10 per MMBTU and has now reached $6.50 per MMBTU. Nath urged the Union Ministries of Power and Petroleum to consider reducing gas prices to alleviate the financial burden on the state.

He also requested the Power Grid Corporation of India to include the CBIS component in the NERPSIP Project to establish a state-of-the-art training center in Tripura. Furthermore, Minister Nath highlighted several infrastructure projects and requested the Union Ministry of Power to bear all costs for the 400 KV Substation in Suryamaninagar.

The Minister called for central funding to cover Tripura’s intra-state transmission needs until 2030, estimated at around Rs 1000 crore. Nath emphasized the importance of the National Hydro Power Corporation’s pump storage project in the Longtorai subdivision, with an 800 MW power generation capacity. He called for the speedy completion of this project, highlighting ongoing preparations of PFR and DPR.

Addressing the critical shortfall in gas supply from ONGC’s Tripura fields, Nath noted that this has severely impacted the state’s power generation. To maintain electricity supply, the state has been forced to purchase power from the open market, incurring substantial losses for TSECL. He expressed concern over the rising cost of electricity production, making it challenging to sustain affordable rates for residents.

Nath stressed the importance of considering the needs of the state’s people and requested the cooperation of the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to reconsider the increasing price of gas under the APM system. He urged the Union Power Minister to address these issues to ensure affordable and sustainable power for Tripura.

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