SHILLONG, June 3

Voluntary organisation Friends of Assam and Seven Sisters (FASS) has embarked on another mission to facilitate public consultation in an organised manner to guide the Petroleum industry of the NE region towards developmental and pro-people activities.

The North-eastern States might be sitting on a huge hydropower potential, but power companies, both government-owned and independent power producers (IPP), citing serious hurdles, have called for immediate steps to simplify land acquisition and environmental and forest clearances processes.

With huge potential to generate power in the Northeastern region remaining untapped, the Government has earmarked an investment of over Rs 37,400 crore for setting up power projects to add 5,350 MW capacity by 2016, reports PTI. The Ministry of Power plans to add 5,350 MW power generation capacity in the Northeast, apart from the 3,926 MW which is under various stages of construction.

The Meghalaya government has okayed the execution of the 500 MW thermal power project by the state-run North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO).

"One per cent of the project cost would be used for the development works in the project area in the East Garo Hills district," Meghalaya Power minister Mukul Sangma told reporters after a cabinet meeting last night.

Energy experts from USA, UK, Canada and India are all set to meet on a common platform to discuss the issues and challenges regarding the energy resources of North East and evolve a roadmap for fruitful tapping of the energy potential of the region.

A two-day national conference on energy resources of North East India will be held at Pragjyoti ITA Cultural Complex, Machkhowa here from November 11.

With the demand of electricity ever increasing in the country, the Centre has reiterated its commitment to meet the requirement by adding capacity to the tune of one lakh MW under the 12th Five Year Plan, according to the Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.

A national-level energy conference is being organized at the ITA Cultural Complex, Machkhowa here on November 11 and 12. The focus of this conference will be to address the key issues pertaining to development and growth of the energy sector in the region, stated a press release.

Opposition members today made a strong plea to go for micro hydel projects instead of the mega ones, to meet the power demand of the State and the NE region as well.

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