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MeECL plans ambitious Myntdu Leshka Stage II

SHILLONG: After much criticism, claims and counter-claims, the Myntdu Leshka Hydel Power Project has achieved its desired target of generating 126 megawatts from the three units.

Encouraged by the successful generation of power from the project, the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) is now preparing to initiate Stage II of the Project to generate additional 280 MW of power that would take care of the energy deficiencies in the State.

Superintending Engineer of Circle I (Dam in charge) E Syiemlieh informed that the proposed Stage II would be a cheaper affair as most of the infrastructure for the new stage is already available.

According to Syiemlieh, the MeECL is now working out the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and survey investigation with the Central Water Commission.

The Myntdu Leshka project has been generating 126 MW of power since May 16 and the current average power generation ranges between 100 and 120 MW.

Resident Engineer of MeECL, Michael Pohshna, who looks after the power plant, informed a group of reporters who visited the project on Thursday, that the project started generating 126 MW since May 16. He added that the three units can never generate power less than 35 MW and above 126 MW.

“Generation of power depends on efficient production, water level and good transmission,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pohshna highlighted the various difficulties which had marred the project.

According to Pohshna, on October 8, 2009, the area had received the highest rainfall in the last 20-25 years, and the resultant flood completely destroyed the power house that derailed the project by as many as 15 months and added to cost escalation.

Pohshna informed the reporters that special pipes were being used for the project which also contributed to the cost escalation.

Despite all criticism, visible improvements have been put in place including a three-metre high retaining wall near the power house to prevent flooding.

The MeECL is also continuously receiving weather forecast from the North East Space Application Centre to tackle any future eventuality.

However, there are fears that the project might be facing a new hurdle since coal mining activities near the project are turning the water acidic since a lot of sulphur is being discharged into the river.

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