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NE states owe crores to Neepco

Agartala, Jul 31 : At a time when Neepco is trying to mobilise funds from the people, all the eight states of Northeast collectively owe the PSU an amount of Rs 1,187.58 crore.

Assam and Meghalaya top the list of defaulters in payment to Neepco. "We are giving reminders as we are facing a funds crunch now and hopefully the states will clear our dues," said a senior-most official of Neepco's Tripura project at Ramchandra Nagar, 12km east of Agartala.

The official said Assam owes Rs 536.64crore, followed by Meghalaya - Rs 429.4 crore. Among other states, Tripura's unpaid dues are Rs 89.74 crore, Manipur's are Rs 68.14 crore, Mizoram's Rs 37 crore while Arunachal Pra-desh's dues stand at Rs 26.16 crore. Nagaland owes the least amount - only Rs 5 lakh. "From the overall dues the states' surcharges will be deducted." He said the centrally owned PSU was facing a funds crunch and realising the outstanding dues from states was important. "We are trying to mobilise about Rs 2,500 crore from the market during this financial year (2015-16), down by about Rs 600 crore from the last fiscal (2014-15) when Neepco raised Rs 3,100 crore from the market."

He said Neepco currently has an installed capacity of 1,130MW, which is 47 per cent of the total installed capacity of all the power projects in the Northeast.

"Within two years, Neepco will commission five power projects in various northeastern states with an installed capacity of 927MW," said the official.

Neepco has set up 101MW-capacity gas-based power plant in western Tripura's Monarchak. But the project, despite being complete, is yet to be commissioned and become operational because of absence of guaranteed supply of natural gas by the ONGC.

"When this thermal power project was launched in 2002, we had assurance of the requisite natural gas supply from the ONGC. The project got inordinately delayed before final sanction was accorded by the Centre, and now natural gas supply from the ONGC is uncertain. Once the ONGC does so, we will commission the project," said the official.