The power ministry has decided to induct NEEPCO as Joint Venture partner with 26 per cent in lieu of SJVNL for development of 1500 MW Tipaimukh hydroelectric power project. As such, new draft promoters agreement with equity participation of 69 per cent, 26 per cent and 5 per cent by NHPC, NEEPCO and Manipur government respectively has been prepared and sent to NEEPCO for their comments. The comments and acceptance of NEEPCO is to the Memorandum of Association is awaited.
The incorporation of the JV Company is a major constraint in development of the Tipaimukh hydroelectric power project. The project was earlier being developed by NEEPCO alone. However, dissatisfied with the utility’s performance, Manipur government pushed for the project to be developed as a Joint Venture. Following this, it was decided that a JV of NHPC, SJVN and Manipur government would develop the project. The formation of the JV Company was already getting delayed. The decision to induct NEEPCO in place of SJVN may delay the process of the incorporation of the JV Company further.
Other issues that are hampering the development of the project include accord of forest clearance to the project. The Forest Advisory Committee of the environment ministry is expected to take a decision in this regard soon.
In addition, poor infrastructure in the region is also critical for project execution. Currently, the project area is somewhat inaccessible. Improvement of about 100-km of existing road from Jiribam to Tipaimukh village, construction of 25-km new approach road to Tipaimukh via Tuirial and construction of 15 bridges is required for the project. The cost of improvement of roads has been pegged at Rs. 307 crore at September 2008 price level.
The Tipaimukh hydroelectric project envisages construction of a 162.8 m high rockfill dam, at 500 m downstream of the confluence of the river Barak with Tuivai. Apart from power generation, the project is expected to control floods on 2039 sq. km. of land. The total cost of project development has been estimated at Rs. 9,211 crore at the September 2008 price level. The tendering process of the project will be started soon after incorporation of the JVC and accord of the forest clearance. Commencement of the main works at the project site is expected from March 2014.