Govt knocks at NEEPCO door

Power Minister Clement Marak addresses media persons at his official chamber in city on Monday (ST) .

SHILLONG: Hoping against hope, the Meghalaya Government has written to NEEPCO to provide relief at a time when the State is reeling under an acute shortage of power, resulting in prolonged hours of load shedding.

The decision to approach NEEPCO was taken on Monday after a high level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and attended by Power Minister Clement Marak, Acting Chief Secretary Barkos Warjri, Additional Chief Secretary B K Dev Verma and Director, Finance, MeECL Pankaj Jain.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Power Minister Clement Marak said that the Government had written to NEEPCO indicating that the State Government would pay some amount to clear a portion of its pending dues.

“Negotiation will continue with NEEPCO on Tuesday and we hope to reduce the power cuts limiting to a few hours within this week”, Marak said.

While Shillong is under the spell of nine hours of power cut in a day, Garo Hills is under darkness for more than 11 hours.

He said that in the absence of rainfall, the generation of power from Leshka was negligible and moreover, there was only 30 MW generated from Umiam.

According to Marak, as long term measure, the Government would take initiative to take up thermal power projects.

He admitted that the delay in getting environment clearance and difficulties in carrying out survey resulted in the slow execution of many pending hydel projects.