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KOHIMA, Nov 5: Electricity in the present context is not only essential for lighting up their homes but has become the driving force in every aspect of their lives and the engine of growth for any developed economy and that no major economic activity can be sustained without adequate and reliable power supply, stated by Chief Minister of Nagaland T.R Zeliang while addressing the Golden Jubilee celebration of Nagaland Power Department Wednesday here at the NBCC Convention Hall.
Congratulating the Power department on completing 50 years of its establishment and public services, T.R Zeliang said the Jubilee is a time to pay respects to the pioneers and to celebrate the achievements of the department over the last 50 years and expressed his appreciation to the past officers and staff as well as the present officers and employees in the department.
He said the per capita consumption in the State is only about 250 units which is amongst the lowest in the country, indicating the poor economy of the State. He said the state’s own generation is negligible and that the power requirements are met largely with the import from outside and therefore the status of the power sector should be a challenge for all stake holders including policy makers, planners and technocrats.
The Chief Minister also urged the officers and staff of the department to adopt latest technologies to manage the networks, energy billing, revenue collection and consumer servicing for effective management and commercial operation.
Stating that a comprehensive power policy is required to give direction for co-ordination development of generation, transmission and distribution of power in the State, Zeliang called on the Power department to initiate the process of framing a new state policy at the earliest which will meet the requirements and challenge of the 21st century.
He said the mindset of the people and the society towards public utilities and tampering of meter houses and power theft should be done away with as it widens the revenue gap between the cost of the power purchased and the revenue accrual.
Minister for Power, C. Kipili Sangtam, said the Jubilee celebration will not be complete if one does not set an achievable goal and plans to develop power infrastructure and improve delivery to meet the demand and expectation of the people of the State.
He said that the state government is looking for fruition of the 180 mw Dikhu project on a public private partnership mode for which negotiation on land acquisition is in progress with the land owners. Besides, DPR for Tizu and Zungki is under preparation and the department shall explore all possible funding option to develop these two potential hydro projects he added.
He also said due to lack of adequate funding support, development of transmission and transformation capacity has been a bottleneck to increasing availability, restricting demand and growth. However, the North Eastern Regional Power Grid System Improvement Projects (NERPSIP) funded by World Bank and GoI have been cleared by Ministry of Power and is due for implementation very soon he added. He explained that the projects shall double the existing capacity of transmission and sub-transmission network of the state.
Earlier, Chief Engineer (T&G) Er. K. Miachieo said within a period of 8 months since attaining Statehood, the Government of Nagaland created a full-fledged Electricity department on 9th July 1964.
He said that the pioneers of the department strived to deliver power to the people, initially through diesel generating sets and later from grid supply. He said that the department commissioned the first small hydro project on 28th March 1978, the 1.5 MW Dzuza Hydro Electric Project. He also stated that the state achieved 100% electrification in 1988.
Rtd. Chief Engineers of the department, Er. Lanu Toy, Er. S.I. Longkumer and Er. D.A. Shishak also spoke on the occasion. A special number was presented by Er. V. Nakhro and friends. Rev. Keviyiekielie Linyu blessed the programme while Additional Chief Engineer (D&R) Er. Imli Ao delivered the vote of thanks.