Meghalaya faces power crisis due to breakdown of Palatana & Kupli project

Shillong, Jan 13: Meghalaya chief minister, Conrad K Sangma on Monday informed that the breakdown of two power generating projects in the Northeast and inability of the state to utilise the power banking from a company led to serious power shutdown in the state.

Sangma told reporters after discussing the power scenario in the state cabinet meeting and after reviewing with officials of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) the shortage of power,   and duration of power shut down being promulgated across the state.

“The situation that the state is facing now was not there in the past, and this year’s load-shedding is not because that we cannot pay dues to NEEPCO,” the chief minister said.

The MeECL has pending power dues upto Rs 622 crore, but it paid to Neepco monthly at Rs 65 lakh since August last year.

Sangma informed that the state did not get about 30 MW due to breakdown of the Palatana project in Tripura and 20 MW due to breakdown of Kupli hydro electric project bordering between Meghalaya and Assam.

Meghalaya is to also get power through power swapping since it has given some amount of energy during rainy season to some states through the NTPC.

The state should get back between 20 MW to 30 MW during dry season from the NTPC.

However due to a notification issued by the Central government on June 26 last year, such exchange of power can happen through a letter of credit.

“The breakdown of the power projects has affected the state and our people. Moreover the notification has also hit us because we could not the energy now, which we need to first open the letter of credit and deposit some amount in order to retrieve the power back,” he said.

Sources said that the state has to open the letter of credit with a deposit of around Rs 13.8 crore.

Assuring the people that measures have been taken to find solution especially to reduce the duration of power cuts across the state, the chief minister said that things will improve in the next few days.

“The MeECL has put in lot of efforts to ensure efficient system in place especially to reduce the aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses,” Sangma said.