Meghalaya to expedite all power projects

The projects will be put on fast track to meet the power shortfall in the mountainous state

The Meghalaya government will put all power projects on fast track to meet the power shortfall in the mountainous state, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said Tuesday.

"We will expedite all power projects on a fast track under joint ventures to increase our generation and avail 12% free and cheaper power," Sangma told the assembly in his reply to the Calling Attention motion moved by lone Garo National Council legislator Clifford R Marak.

Moreover, he also stressed the need to increase the efficiency of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Ltd in respect of distribution and transmission to bring down the distribution losses.

Once the projects are completed, Sangma said the state would be able to avail 12% free power and two % for local area development.

Meghalaya, which was once a power surplus state, is facing a power deficit of 20-30% of the demand.

The state generates only over 46 MW from Umiam Hydro Electric Project and Myntdu-Leshka Hydro Electric Project.

The Umiam Hydro Electric Project, which has an installed capacity of 185 MW, is currently generating a mere 40 MW, while the 126 MW Myntdu-Leshka Hydro Electric Project is generating only 6 MW.

Further, Sangma said the cost of power generation from within the state was about Rs.2 per MW while it was around Rs.4 per MW if the state purchases power from other power corporations.

"If we fail to pay them (power distribution companies), the credibility of the state is also questioned," he said while stressing on the need to explore the potential sites for power generation.

Sangma also informed that the government is already in a debt-trap with the state-owned MeECL having pending dues of Rs.473.85 crore with North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO), the NTPC Limited, NHPC Limited besides other power producing companies.

"The reasons for the accumulation of outstanding dues is also due to huge supplementary bills raised by the central power sector units, consequent upon the final tariff order issued by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) in accordance with it tariff regulations 2009-14 with retrospective effect besides inadequate revenue realisation," the chief minister said.

In order to liquidate the huge outstanding dues, Sangma said the government has taken steps to avail of the Financial Restructuring Plan launched by the union government.