NHPC’s wait for restarting 2,000 MW Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Power Project is getting longer day by day. It may be recalled here that the construction activities of Subansiri Lower HEP were stopped with effect from December 16, 2011 due to local protests and still there are no signs of restarting of the project. Recently held tripartite meeting between the Ministry of Power, Government of Assam and NHPC at Guwahati too has failed to arrive at any conclusion.

NHPC has already spent about Rs. 6,600 crore on the project and is also incurring Rs. 600 crore unproductive expenditure annually on the project. Also the project cost may have to be revised upwards which will have its impact on final cost of the power. The project cost has already gone up by Rs. 1,300 crore due stoppage of work during the last two years.

The Expert Group set up to study issues relating to the dam design, downstream effects and effect on environment due to the proposed dam had made several observations. NHPC reportedly had presented its view point on those issues at the tripartite meeting. NHPC has also given the assurance that all environmental aspects will be looked into. However, final decision on this project is unlikely to be taken in the near future.

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