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Corporation wants down payment of Rs 30 crore, more payment within 3 months

From CK Nayak

NEEPCO lays down conditions for power supply resumption

New Delhi: There seems to be no end to the woes of Meghalaya, with NEEPCO insisting on a down payment of at least Rs. 30 crore and some assured payment within three months to resume electricity supply to the hill state which is facing a power crisis which old timers describe as unprecedented in Shillong.

The issue of resumption of power supply by NEEPCO was discussed on Friday at a high level tripartite meeting between the Meghalaya Government, Union Power Ministry and NEEPCO in Delhi.

The NEEPCO CMD insisted on the two conditions which seemed very tough indeed for the State Government. The State-owned Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) owes Rs. 379 crore to the Central sector power utility NEEPCO as pending dues.

MeECL chairman and managing director P.C. Pankaj said MeECL and the State Government would have to meet the two conditions. Only after that NEEPCO could resume power supply to Meghalaya.

Principal Resident Commissioner of Meghalaya in Delhi, Pankaj Jain, represented the State Government while the Additional Secretary, Union Power Ministry, represented the Centre. J Lyngdoh, Commissioner and Secretary, Power department, was also present.

Frequent power cuts, stretching for nine hours in a day, have thrown normal life out of gear in Shillong. In the Garo Hills, the duration of load shedding is even longer.

Meghalaya is solely dependent on its lone hydel power station built on the Umiam Lake. With the water level in Umiam having drastically decreased due to a prolonged dry spell, MeECL, which was running at a loss, has been compelled to resort to load shedding

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