UDP’s approach in solving power scenario is misdirected: James Sangma

UDP’s approach in solving power scenario is misdirected: James Sangma

Shillong, Mar 26: Power Minister, James Sangma on Friday said that the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) approach in solving the power situation in Meghalaya is “misdirected”.

Reacting to the UDP’s demand to strip him of the Power portfolio, Sangma said that although he shared their concerns which are genuine but the approach should not be directed towards the present government.

“It should have been directed towards those who signed faulty power purchase agreements, at those who promised Rs. 844 crores (terminal benefits) for MeECL employees.

According to Sangma, the MeECL is paying these terminal benefits from its own resources which have come to around Rs. 712 crore from 2010 to February 2021.

Sangma also pointed out that the revenue of MeECL constitutes of just Rs. 75 crore on an average per month while on the expenditure side it spends Rs. 120 crore every month, which basically means that the corporation incurs a loss of Rs. 45 crore on an average monthly.

The Power Minister also informed that currently the State is paying Rs. 65 lakh per day to NEEPCO, Rs. 50 lakh per day to OTPC and Rs. 6.5 crore per month to Power Grid, to ensure that power supply remains uninterrupted.

Sangma also said that the smart meters will solve long-standing issue of low billing efficiency.

According to him, currently, Meghalaya has the worst billing efficiency in the country, standing at 72 percent only, which means that 28 percent of the consumers do not receive their bills in time, resulting in non-collection of payments.

“This is also due to the fact that often remote villages are inaccessible by linesmen. Improving of billing efficiency and collection would mean greater inflow of revenue for the MeECL,” he added.

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