North East India: A Brief Profile
The North Eastern Region of India is recognised as one of the poor infrastructural development in comparison with other region of the country. As a result the region is lagging behind in the industrial and economic development scenario in comparison with other developed states of the country. But the region has a strong potential to be India’s future powerhouse. It has 42.54 per cent of hydropower potential of the country estimated at 63,257 MW, natural gas reserves of 190 billion cubic meters, coal reserves of over 900 million tones and oil reserves of over 500 million tonnes. Large mineral resources including limestone’s reserves of around 5000 million tones and a forest cover which is 25 per cent of the country’s forest area. Phenomenal biodiversity forest wealth particularly bamboo economy of north east India, agro base, fruits and vegetables and other horticultural products, enchanting hills, majestic rivers, fresh water lake, cave and beautiful islands which are potential for ecotourism and rural tourism, herbs, aromatic plants, exotic flowers and floriculture, other flora and fauna to be a future international trading hot spot towards more on South and South East Asian countries. Further, the present strategies of government of India’s Act East Policy will also led to expansion of more on trade, tourism and human relations between neighbouring countries of south East Asian countries.
If such inexhaustible sources of hydro power resources and other mineral and natural resources are exploited minimum at par with national level and maximum at par with global average of 30 per cent and above, it will make sure to accelerate the socio-economic development of this backward region of the country. There is thus, an immediate attention is required to develop and harness this huge power potential of the region, which not only reap the benefit for socio-economic development of the region but also for filling the gap of changing power scenario of the country in near future.
Hydro Power Potentials of North East India
The North Eastern Region of India is blessed with the highest hydro power potential far exceeding the region’s internal requirement for power. As per the report of the ranking studies conducted by Central Electricity Authority, government of India, there are 1,48,701MW hydro power potential spreading in 845 different schemes in the country. Of which 66,065 MW from 140 schemes have been identified as potential sites from North Eastern states contributing 44.43 per cent of total hydro power potential of the country.
Above given table shows the hydro power potential of North Eastern Region in state - wise. Arunachal Pradesh is having the highest potential of hydro power not only in the region but also among the states and union territories of the country. Next to Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim state accounts the second highest ranking in potential of hydro power with a total potential of 4,286 MW. Next to Sikkim, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland stood in third, fourth, fifth and six respectively. Assam though lowest in total hydro power potential but it has harnessed the maximum hydropower potentials in the region. Assam is having the highest thermal power resources also in the region. Likewise Tripura has also no potential of hydro power but it has an ample scope for thermal power resources in the region.