File photo of Subansiri Dam construction site | Photo: The News Mill

India’s biggest under-construction 2000 MW Subansiri Lower Hydro-Electric Project, being developed by NHPC Limited at Gerukamukh along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border, “is progressing fast” for the commissioning of its two units of 250 MW each.

“All the major components of the project – dam, power house, head race tunnel, hydro mechanical works etc. are in final stages of completion. NHPC Limited along with all the agencies involved in the construction of the project is making all-out efforts to complete the work at the earliest,” stated an NHPC official on March 22.

Arunachal Pradesh deputy chief minister Chowna Mein, also minister in charge of power, who has recently visited the Lower Subansiri Hydro-Electric project site, had said that the first two units of 250 MW each will be commissioned by June this year.

Chowna Mein also stated that all 8 units of the mega project with a total generating capacity of 2,000 MW of power are expected to be completed by June 2024.

“Once completed, Arunachal Pradesh will get 240MW as a share of 12% free power from the project which will generate revenue of around Rs 440 crore annually for the state exchequer,” Mein has said.

In the meantime, a spiritual ‘puja’ as per traditional Arunachal culture for the safety of NHPC’s power house was organized near the Tail Race Channel area of the Subansiri Lower HE Project on March 22.

On this occasion, executive director of Subansiri Lower Project, Vipin Gupta along with the contractor, sub-contractor and all local area people prayed and “sought blessings from Mother Nature for timely completion of the project”.

Speaking on the occasion, Gupta reiterated that NHPC is committed to starting power generation from the Subansiri Lower Project at the earliest and sought whole-hearted support and cooperation of all the agencies involved in the construction of the project and people from the locality and nearby Dollungmukh area, the official said.

The construction work of the mega-dam project was stalled for nearly eight years, from December 2011 to October 2019, due to intense protests by many groups in neighbouring Assam, fearing safety and downstream impact.

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