Tripura emerges as only power surplus state in northeast

AGARTALA(PTI): Tripura, ravaged by insurgency for more than three decades, made considerable progress in the commercial sectors and emerged as the only power surplus state in the northeastern region in 2014.

After the inauguration of second unit of the 726 MW gas- based thermal power project by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Palatana in Gomati district on December 1, another power plant at Monarchak in Sipahijala district of Tripura would start generation in January.

“With the commissioning of the Palatana project, Tripura is now a power surplus state and we told the central government that it could take 100 mw of power from our allocation and give it to Bangladesh, which allowed us to carry over dimensional machines of the project by using their roads and waterways,” state Power Minister Manik Dey said.

“Without their help it would not have been possible to carry the machines through the hilly roads of northeast,” he said.

Seven northeastern states are being allocated their share from the project. Assam is getting 240 mw, Tripura 196 mw, Meghalaya 79 mw, Manipur 42 mw, Nagaland 27 mw, Arunachal Pradesh 22, Mizoram 22 mw and the balance on merchant sales by ONGC Tripura Power Company Ltd (OTPC).

“I had a detailed discussion with ONGC officials on the sidelines of the inauguration of the second unit of the Palatana project who assured of supplying natural gas to Monarchak plant by the first week of January,” Dey said.

Left Front candidates won the two Lok Sabha seats in the Left-ruled Tripura, defeating Congress candidates by a record margin of votes.

State’s Forest and Rural Development Minister Jitendra Choudhury defeated Sachitra Debbarma in the tribal reserve East Tripura seat by 4,60,548 votes, securing 5,94,006 votes himself.

In Tripura West, trade union leader Sankar Prasad Datta won by 5,03,486 votes against Congress’ Arunoday Saha, a former vice chancellor of Tripura University. Datta bagged 6,71,665 votes.

Since 1952, Left parties have won the Tripura East seat 11 times while the Congress secured the seat five times.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, also a Politburo member of CPI(M), termed this victory as people’s mandate towards good governance.

He said that insurgency problem had reduced in the state drastically due to good governance, standard policing and proactive action of the security forces in Bangladesh who destroyed rebel camps in their soil.

He, however, cautioned that the remnants of insurgency still exist and the ultras were still using the soil of Bangladesh for conducting subversive activities inside Tripura, which has a 856-km-long border with the neighbouring country.

The Left Front further consolidated its bastion in the rural areas by winning in the three-tier panchayats election in the state held in July.

The Agartala Municipal Corporation won the ‘Clean and Green City’ award this year for waste material management and keeping the city green.