NEEPCO to ‘deregulate’ power supply to State

Meghalaya Govt to pay Rs 30 crore to NEEPCO today

SHILLONG: For the power starved people of Meghalaya, there seems to be some silver lining in the horizon. The State Government has assured that it would pay Rs. 30 crore to NEEPCO on Monday.

NEEPCO Chairman and Managing Director PC Pankaj on Sunday revealed that the State Government had promised to pay on Monday the down payment of Rs. 30 crore insisted on by the Central power utility for resumption of power supply to Meghalaya. He assured that NEEPCO would ‘deregulate’ power supply to Meghalaya as soon as the payment of Rs. 30 crore was made.

An understanding on resumption of power supply to Meghalaya had been reached between NEEPCO and the State Government at a high level tripartite meeting in Delhi last week, in which representatives of the Union Power Ministry were also present.

When asked how much power would be supplied to Meghalaya, Pankaj said it would depend on the generation of NEEPCO and allocation to the State but he asserted that around 45-46 MW of power will be supplied once the State Government paid the initial amount of Rs. 30 crore. People of Meghalaya could expect an interim relief from the continuous load shedding if this quantum of power was supplied. It was not sure however if the deregulation of power supply by NEEPCO could end the woes of Meghalaya as power shortfall was more in the State due to the inability of hydel power projects to produce power in the lean season.

So far, residents of Shillong are bearing the brunt of load shedding for nine hours in a day while load shedding extends to 11 hours in Garo Hills.

Last year, the State Government had assured NEEPCO of clearing its dues in 24 instalments but later did not honour the agreement, Pankaj said, adding the total outstanding due which the State would have to clear was around Rs. 379 crore, which included an interest component of Rs. 77 crore.

NEEPCO was hopeful that the State Government would follow the mode of payment agreed upon of releasing Rs. 20 crore every month to clear the pending dues.