PSU major NHPC Ltd will finally be able to commission the 2,000 MW Subansiri hydropower project by March 2022, which has been stalled for nearly eight years due to intense protests by many groups in Assam.
Construction work of the ambitious project at Gerukamukh along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border on Subansiri river was halted from December 2011 to October 2019 due to protests by locals and many groups fearing about safety and the adverse impact on the downstream of the river.
Union power ministry’s secretary Sanjiv Nandan Sahai, Arunachal Pradesh chief secretary Naresh Kumar and the company’s chairman and managing director A K Singh visited the Subansiri Lower Hydro Electric project sites to inaugurated the restart of the power-house works, NHPC said in a statement.
“Later in the day, the power secretary held a review meeting wherein NHPC chief briefed about the various construction activities and downstream river protection works undertaken by the company. It was assured that the project shall be commissioned by March 2022,” it added.
According to a company estimate in January 2020, the cost of the mega project, which was scheduled to be commissioned in December 2012, had escalated to around Rs 20,000 crore. The initial project cost was estimated at Rs 6,285 crore. The Centre had allocated a total of Rs 11,000 crore as of December 2010 for construction of the dam. Multiple committees were formed by the Assam government and the Centre to address the concern of the agitators.