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Power generation as integral to economy as blood donation to saving lives: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday underscored the need for power generation and its distribution, asserting that these are as integral to economy as blood donation is to saving lives.
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Performing 'bhoomi pujan' (groundbreaking ceremony) for a 120-MW hydroelectric project in Assam's Dima Hasao district, she asserted that it will not just usher in development in the area, but be of benefit to entire northeast.
The Centre and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) inked a USD 23.1-crore loan in December 2020 to augment power generation capacity in Assam through the construction of the Lower Kopili plant at Longku in Dima Hasao.
Sitharaman gave assurance that the Union government "will procure more funds from abroad, if necessary, by giving its guarantee" for the successful completion of the project, to be developed by Assam Power Generation Corporation.
She also laid the foundation for upgrading a 90-km road connecting Haflong Tinali with Lower Haflong.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, speaking on the occasion, said this "run-of-the-river project over Kopili will help increase electricity generation from clean energy by 469 gigawatt hour (GWh) by 2025", and reduce greenhouse gas emissions annually.
"Affordable and clean electricity generated through the project will greatly improve quality of living, promote businesses and increase employment opportunities in the state," he noted.
Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sitharaman for helping Assam with externally aided projects, he said the Centre has provided Rs 1,700 crore of the estimated project cost of Rs 2,200 crore.
Sarma stated that earnings from the projects will be fully utilised for Dima Hasao's development.
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