SHILLONG, Jan 13: Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma on Monday today said that the present power situation in the state is not something which was there in the past.
“This year the load shedding is not because of any particular issues with NEEPCO, in fact with NEEPCO the MeECL has been paying on an average Rs 65 lakh per day since August 2019 which is touching an amount of over Rs 100 crores in the last four months time,” the Chief Minister said.
He also said that the government is ensuring that payments are made on a regular basis.
The Chief Minister pointed out that in the last financial year (2018-19) Rs 174 crore was paid to NEEPCO. Conrad said that last year the issue was with NEEPCO and other (power) providers but this year it is not because of that reason.
“This year there was a problem because two power projects namely the Palatana Power Plant which is in Tripura there are some units that are not functioning. Since some units are not working about 30 mw of power supply has been cut off for Meghalaya. At the same time another power project in the northeast called Kupli Power Project that too some units are not working which again has led to shortage of 20 mw,” Conrad said.
He added that both these projects being affected badly the supply of power to Meghalaya was affected which did not happened in the past years.
“So it is a different kind of situation we are facing which is beyond the state government’s control,” the Chief Minister said.
Another situation where the state is now facing is that in earlier years there was a system of “power banking”, wherein the state government will give power to some agency then in time of needs it can take back power from such agencies.
“So government of India has changed those particular guidelines and I am presuming for the financial health of the power producers the centre has made it mandatory to make the payments in cash. So there is no power banking that takes place,” the Chief Minister said.
He said that this has hit the state at this point of time is because this notification came out few months back and whereas but the state government has already given power to certain organisation like the NTPC in the month of June-July last year when the rain was there.
“But then when the order came out those organisations cannot give the power back to us in terms of the banking we had with them earlier. Which would had for us allowed to resolve the issues,” Conrad said.
He said that therefore to facilitate this power banking situation that has arisen the state government need to open us a Letter of Credit with these organisations.
“We are on the job right now and try to figure out how we could retrieve the power that the state government had given at that point in time,” the Chief Minister said.
He has also assured the people of the state that the load shedding hours would be reduced in the days to come.
Presently, Shillong city is facing power cuts three times a day – 3 am to 6:30 am, 12:20 to 4 pm and 11 pm to 12 midnight.