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Assam Govt Weighing Power Cuts, Buying From Open Source To Meet High Demand

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GUWAHATI, Sept 6: With the state recording unanticipated high power demand, the Assam government on Wednesday said it was weighing the options of going for power cuts or buying additional power from open source, which will eventually lead to an upward revision of the tariff.

Addressing a press conference, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the state witnessed a steep increase in peak hour-power demand this year.

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From being at 1,800 mw till last year, it touched 2,500 mw this year, he said.

“We have power availability of 1,650 MW from our own sources and tied-up arrangements. A shortage of 100-200 mw can be adjusted by procuring from the open source at Rs 10 per unit.

“But, if we have to meet the shortfall that we are facing for three-four months by buying from open source, we will be forced to increase the power tariff by Rs 1 per unit,” he said.

Sarma said the other option to meet the shortage is by going for power cuts to reduce consumption.

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“Whether we opt for power cuts or buy power from open source, the decision will be taken at the Cabinet meeting on September 8,” he said.

The CM said the sustained, steep increase in demand for power was unanticipated and the government will analyse the reasons for it.

Among some reasons are additional supply to railways due to electrification of tracks and more industrial activities, he added.

With the state’s own generation limited to 250 MW, it is heavily dependent on power bought at Rs 5 per unit.

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Sarma said though the state has signed agreements for power supply from different sources, the gestation period of projects is long and it will take time to meet the requirements from tied-up sources.

“We are expecting that the situation will start easing from next year,” he said. (PTI)

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