The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs recently approved a comprehensive scheme for strengthening of intrastate transmission and distribution systems in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim at an estimated cost of Rs. 4,754.42 crore — Rs. 3,199.45 crore to Arunachal Pradesh and Rs. 1,544.99 crore to Sikkim. It will be implemented under a new central sector plan scheme of the Ministry of Power.

The project comprises 4,240 km of 220kV, 132kV, 66kV & 33kV transmission lines as well as construction of 115 substations of 1,304 MVA capacity.

In all 134 transmission lines will be constructed across 15 districts in Arunachal Pradesh and four districts in Sikkim.

Illustration only/Wikimedia Commons

At present, only five districts out of 20 in Arunachal Pradesh are connected to the transmission network at 132/220kV. The 33kV system is the backbone of power distribution system in the state. Due to low population density spread over its geographical area of 84,000 sq. km, power demand in Arunachal Pradesh is scattered over large distances. Hence, it has been found necessary to provide 132kV connectivity for proper voltage management and lower distribution losses.

Similarly, the T&D system in Sikkim mainly relies on 66kV network, which is in urgent need of strengthening.

Therefore, the Ministry of Power aims to strengthen the intrastate T&D systems in the two states through 31 new 132kV substations, 14 substations of 66/11kV, 2,035 km of transmission lines (132kV & 220kV), and 2,204 km of transmission lines (33kV & 66kV).

The project was initially conceived in 2007, through the Passighat Declaration at the North Eastern Council summit, to provide an adequate transmission network in all the northeastern states and Sikkim so that the remote region could be developed with rest of the country. The project is expected to benefit a large number of people in the northeast and Sikkim who are not connected to the grid.

“After the new government took over, the approval of the project was expedited based on this government’s commitment to the accelerated development of the northeastern region,” Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal, and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal said.

The intrastate transmission and distribution system project will be implemented through Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd with a consultancy fee of 1.2 per cent of the execution cost. The completion period is 48 months. After construction, the entire T&D system will be transferred to the states for future operation and maintenance, free of charge, resulting in no increase in tariff.

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