The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday has approved the Revised Cost Estimate (RCE) of the North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project (NERPSIP) at an estimated cost of Rs 6,700 crore.

The Cabinet committee meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This development seems to be a major step towards the economic development of the Northeastern region through the strengthening of intra-state transmission and distribution systems.

An official statement said the scheme is being implemented through POWERGRID, a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Power in association with six beneficiary states of Northeast namely, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura.

The scheme is targeted to be commissioned by December 2021.

After commissioning, the project will be owned and maintained by the respective Northeastern state utilities.

The main objective of the project is the government’s commitment for the total economic development of the Northeastern region and to strengthen the intra-state transmission and distribution infrastructure in the Northeastern region.

Implementation of this scheme will create a reliable power grid and improve the Northeastern states’ connectivity to the upcoming load centres, and thus extend the benefits of the grid-connected power to all categories of consumers of beneficiaries in the Northeast.

The scheme shall also increase the per capita power consumption of these States, and shall contribute to the total economic development of the Northeastern region.

Implementing agencies are hiring a considerable number of local manpower during their construction works, generating a lot of employment for skilled and unskilled manpower of Northeastern region.

Further after completion, additional manpower will be required for operation and maintenance of these newly created assets as per standard norms, generating considerable additional employment opportunities for Northeastern states.

The scheme was initially approved in December 2014 as a Central sector plan scheme of the Union Ministry of Power.

This is being funded with the assistance of World Bank fund and by the Government of India through the Budget support of Ministry of Power on 50:50 basis except for the capacity building component for Rs 89 crore, which will be entirely funded by central government.

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