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India studying possibility of importing power from Central Asia

Posted on Mar 07 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, March 7 : India is keen to examine the feasibility of importing power from an electricity grid emanating from the hydropower surplus region of Central Asia, as also helping to build mini hydel dams in the mountainous region through which two major rivers flow.

According to Ajay Bisaria, joint secretary in the Eurasia division, of the Ministry of External Affairs, India stands to benefit from the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project, better known as CASA-1000, a new electricity transmission system to connect the countries of hydropower producing countries of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Bisari, addressing a round table on 'Regional Water Security and Riverine Disputes: Issues Common to Central and South Asia' here Thursday, said India is keen to find out if a way can be found to import the electricity from the CASA-1000.

"If there is a grid then India can benefit from the electricity imported," he said at the event held at the India International Centre.

He said with India moving ahead with joining the TAPI or Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, the technical feasibility of joining the CASA-1000 could also be examined.

Terming trans-boundary water disputes as contentious issues, he said India consciously avoids getting drawn into water discourses during its talks with other countries and instead "shares its experiences" with them. Bisaria said India is helping Tajikistan upgrade its mini hydel stations, including the 9.5 MW Vajrob. India is also in talks to set up a mini hydel station in the landlocked Central Asian country bordering Afghanistan to the south.

The roundtable was organised by think tank Society for Policy Studies in collaboration with Asia News Agency.

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