Shillong: The Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) has imposed the load shedding from Tuesday across the State due to a “fund crunch” in the power department or probably caused by extraneous issues.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma chaired an emergent meeting with his cabinet ministers, Chief Secretary M.S.Rao and senior government officials to discuss the sudden imposition of load-shedding, 13 days ago after the government had lifted it.
Power minister James Sangma informed that “certain issues regarding the Letter of Credit for the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC)” have cropped up.
Sangma said he would be meeting the Union Power Minister and discuss the “difficulties and challenges” the State power sector is facing.
“I will make sure this regulation by the NTPC can be withdrawn at the earliest,” he said.
A fortnight ago, the MeECL barely managed to avoid loading shedding after it defaulted in paying Power Grid Corporation India Limited. MeECL owes over Rs. 70 crore to PGCIL.
Meanwhile, the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government’s ally the BJP and the opposition Congress have alleged corruption in the power department.
Both parties have claimed corruption in the implementation of central schemes such as Saubhagya.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has however refuted these allegations.
On the other hand, the Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) on Tuesday submitted a memorandum to Power Minister seeking information on the implementation of the Rs. 232 crore Asian Development Bank-funded “Smart Meter Project” in Shillong and other adjoining areas.
The contract for implementing the project has been allotted to Satnam Global Infra Projects Ltd, JPM Industries Ltd and Inhemeter Co. Ltd.
“As per records available with us, the cost of supply and installation of each meter is Rs 9444.44 per unit (without taxes and provisional sum), which is way higher when compared to other States in India wherein the cost of each Meter is somewhere around Rs. 3000,” HYC General Secretary Roykupar Synrem said.
In the memorandum, the HYC has asked the Power Minister power why the cost of these meters in Meghalaya is “two times more” than in other States in India.