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bodoland - Animals/Nature


photo : Hatidhura village in Kokrajhar district where developmental works are underway.


The Bodoland region in north Assam is making progress on its endeavour to build small hydropower projects through private sector enterprise.
Speaking to Projectmonitor, Ms Pratibha Brahma, Executive Secretary, Bodoland Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd, said that expressions of interest for the 7-mw Pagladia scheme on the namesake river would soon be invited. BIDC is a joint venture between Bodoland Territorial Council, the autonomous governing body for Bodoland region, and IL&FS Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd.
Bodoland is also on the verge of tasting its first success of private participation in hydropower. The 4-mw Champamati hydropower project, for which the foundation stone was laid in December 2007, is scheduled to turn commercial within two months. The project is being developed by Hyderabad-based ECI Engineering & Construction Ltd, through a special purpose vehicle Hayen Hydel Power Company Pvt. Ltd. Brahma said that the project would be developed under a 35-year concession agreement with Bodoland Territorial Council, on BOT basis. Officials of ECI corroborated saying that the project was “fast nearing completion.”
Discussing other small hydropower ventures, Brahma noted that survey work was underway for other schemes like Borolia, Rupahi and Pohumara. The 0.2-mw Rupahi micro scheme was, however, facing problems due to drying up of water in the upstream source, she noted. All the three schemes, located in Baksa district, are irrigation schemes with hydropower generation facilities. “The 2.4-mw Pohumara project and the Rupahi scheme will be offered for development together,” Brahma noted. The Champamati project and the upcoming schemes will go a long way in bringing Bodoland closer to power sufficiency. “Infrastructure development in Bodoland is progressing faster than the rest of Assam,” Brahma said.
Even outside the Bodoland area, much activity is being seen to promote hydropower projects with private capital. Last year, Assam took the initiative to build small hydels through the competitive bidding route, a practice normally seen in large conventional power plants (read more on ). Through Assam Power Project Development Company Pvt. Ltd, a joint venture between IL&FS and the Assam government, four small hydropower projects amounting to 4.7 mw will be developed over the next two years at the Bordikarai Irrigation Scheme in Sonitpur district.
Assam's peak power requirement is expected to cross 2,000 mw by 2012, compared with around 880 mw today. While Central and state utilities are pursuing larger hydropower projects, small hydropower projects with private enterprise will make an important contribution in shoring up power availability.

Where is Bodoland?

Bodoland is located in the north bank of Brahmaputra in upper Assam. It is occupied by an ethnic group that speaks the Bodo language. Bodoland is defined by the Bodoland Territorial Areas District that includes Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang and Udalguri area districts. BTAD is governed by an autonomous body–Bodoland Territorial Council—that came into being in December 2003. BTC was formed when the revolting Bodoland Liberation Tiger group (demanding separate statehood for Bodos) disarmed and negotiated a settlement for an autonomous body to democratically rule Bodoland.
Bodoland includes a large part of Assam's Korajhar district and some portions of the Barpeta, Nalbari, Kampur, Bongaigaon, Darrang and Sonitpur districts. “Kokrajhar, the headquarters of Bodoland, spans the entire district except some 35-odd villages,” Lymsrao Daimary, Executive Member, BTC, told
Projectmonitor. The region measuring 8,970 km2 is home to around 3 million people.

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