first unit of a 60 MW power plant in Mizoran beginning generating electricity,
it becomes the third power-surplus state in northeastern India after Sikkim and
"The first unit (30 MW) of the 60 MW capacity Tuirial hydro-power plant
started generation on trial basis from Tuesday (August 29)," North Eastern
Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) General Manager P.K. Bora told IANS.
"The second unit of the project would start generation from either
October-end or the first week of November."
With a population of just 1.1 million, Mizoram's current demand of electricity
is only 110 MW to 115 MW during peak hours and is being met by the state's few
mini power projects and availability of its share of power from regional and
central sector projects.
"After the full commissioning of the Tuirial hydro-power project, Mizoram
would be a power-surplus state," an official of Mizoram's power department
said, adding that the additional power is likely to be supplied to the regional
or national grid.
Farmers' protests, agitations, topographical hindrance and administrative
hurdles delayed the commissioning of the project, the biggest in Mizoram, which
shares a border with Myanmar (510 km) and Bangladesh (318 km).
Government-run NEEPCO, a "Mini Ratna" company under the Union
Ministry of Power, commissioned the hydro-power plant utilising the water of
the Tuirial river in Kolasib district in northern Mizoram.
"After the project was conceptualised in 1994, the Cabinet Committee on
Economic Affairs cleared it on July 7, 1998," Bora said.
However, soon after project work started, farmers and locals launched a series
of agitations against the submerging of their standing crops and farmland under
Bora, who is the project head, said work came to a total halt on June 9, 2004,
due to the agitation launched by the "abruptly-formed Tuirial Crop
Compensation Claimant Association, claiming compensation for the standing crops
in the riverine reserve forest".
According to the company's senior engineer, work resumed in 2011 after the
Union Power Ministry, NEEPCO and the Mizoram government jointly negotiated with
However, the delays and consequent price escalation pushed up the cost of the
project, initially pegged at Rs 369 crore, to Rs 1,100 crore.
Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, while addressing an official meeting in
Aizawl earlier this week, said that four more mini power plants are expected to
be completed during 2018-19 financial year.
He said the Detailed Project Report for 24 MW Tuirini hydro-power plant, to be
taken up under the state sector, has been prepared. The project cost would be
Rs 465 crore and it is expected to be completed in four-and-a-half years.
"NEEPCO has also been pursuing the statutory clearance of the 210 MW
Tuivai hydro power project and construction work is likely to start soon," the
Chief Minister added.
Sikkim is self-sufficient at 95.70 MW while Tripura, whose daily need is 285
MW, is self-reliant in electricity.
Since March last year, Tripura has been supplying 160 MW of power to Bangladesh
and is ready to provide an additional 40 MW if the central government permits
it to do so.