In an attempt to increase the delivery of electricity in Northeast India, the World Bank has approved a $470 million loan to North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project.
‘Despite being well-endowed with rich natural resources, the Northeastern region (NER) in India lags behind the rest of the country on growth and investment climate parameters,’ said Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director in India, adding, ‘The Project will support the Northeastern States in getting better access to power, allow businesses to grow, and jobs to be created for the overall economic development of the region which is currently constrained by power shortages.’
The entire project will get implemented through POWERGRID and the total project cost is said to be $952.2 million, of which the World Bank will provide $470 million and the rest will come from the Centre.
He further said the historical under-investment in the power sector has imposed a heavy toll on the availability and reliability of power supply in the region.
‘While generation capacity is slowly being increased, there have been in- adequate investments in the transmission, sub-transmission and distribution network in the region because of factors like limited financial resources,’ he added.
Speaking on the same line, Rohit Mittal, Senior Energy Specialist and Kwawu Mensan Gaba, Lead Energy Specialist stated, ‘Availability of electricity supply will help to spur growth of its productive uses in the region, leading to inclusive growth and sustainable development.’
‘The project objective of upgrading and expanding the power transmission network in the NER will lead to better integration of the region with the rest of the country,’ they pointed out.