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Paucity of Energy in Barak Valley: A Review of Tipaimukh Hydroelectric Project and an Alternative Scheme for Development

Author Affiliations

  • 1Deptt of Economics Assam University, Assam, India
  • 2Bhorakhai High School, Cachar, Assam, India

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 5, Issue (2), Pages 52-55, February,14 (2016)

Abstract

Barak valley, located at the southernmost part of Assam, is a land that can warrant a comprehensive development of entire Northeast India, if its potential links with the Southeast Asia (via Manipur and Mizoram) are properly utilized. Comprising of three administrative districts- Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi, Barak valley is affluent with tea gardens and accommodates major institutes of higher learning and professional excellence. Moreover, it is seen as the second corridor for North Eastern Regional as well ASEAN Countries consolidation for its bourgeoning connectivity-in terms of broad-gauge railway. Despite having a highly prospective future, Barak valley still lags behind many of the remote regions of India due to its poor energy infrastructure. Even after procuring electricity from multiple sources, Barak valley is running on severe energy deficit. While per day requirement for power is 95MW -110MW, Barak valley receives only 30MW-32MWon daily basis, making the situation highly deplorable. The Union Govt. had proposed the 1500 MW Tipaimukh Multipurpose Hydroelectric Dam Project, completion of which would solve the power crisis of Barak Valley along with its adjacent region. However, the Project is being repeatedly postponed by the Forest Advisory Committee, considering its negative impact on environment and biodiversity. Moreover, the indigenous population, afraid of displacement; and the civil society, concerned about the potential catastrophic consequences of the Dam, have vehemently opposed the Project. Now, the urgency of the hour is to trigger a trade-off between development and sustainability. This paper tries to review the major challenges posed by the Tipaimukh Multipurpose Hydroelectric Project then to explore the meaning of Alternative Scheme of Development and finally to suggest an Alternative Source of energy for mitigation of power crisis in Barak valley.

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