‘Past governments to be blamed for current power situation in state’

James Sangma

Shillong, Mar 26: State Power Minister, James K. Sangma has blamed the governments of the past for the current power situation in the state.

“The previous governments were legally supposed to make payments to the tune of Rs. 840 crore for the retirement benefits of employees who diligently worked all their lives for MeECL. However, despite assurances of payment made by the Congress in 2010 and then by the current leader of opposition, Dr. Mukul Sangma, in 2014, they failed to do so,” Sangma said.

The Power Minister stated that the payment is currently being made by the present Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government to former employees, whose only source of livelihood depend on the pensions they receive.

He also said that due to the negligence of the previous government, loss of power which has resulted due to weak or broken wiring is about 32 percent to 34 percent which is the highest in the country.

He saidthat to compensate for these losses, MeECL has to pay a higher amount of money to acquire the total required power so that it can adequately distribute it to the consumers.

“For me as a Power Minister, this problem that has been created by previous governments is really frustrating because ultimately no power distribution company can sustainably function in the long-term with such massive problems,” he added.

Sangma also said that that the income of MeECL that comes from bills every month constitutes of just Rs. 75 crore on an average but on the expenditure side the MeECL spend Rs. 120 crore every month, which basically means that the corporation incurs a loss of Rs. 45 crore on an average every month.

Stating that customers who are punctual and regular in their bill payments should get uninterrupted power supply, Sangma said that the government is putting into place various interventions that will ensure 24X7 power and individualised service.

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