Women group supports NEEPCO project

Shillong, July 13: A section of women from Thieddieng village in East Khasi Hills district who claimed to be the land owners have taken strong exception to people who opposed the Mawphu Hydro Power Project by spreading misinformation.
These women while speaking to media persons in Shillong on Thursday, urged NEEPCO to carry out the Mawphu Hdyro Power Project for the benefits of the local people who have been neglected for several decades.
Kmitsiton Suna of Thieddieng village said, We strongly supported NEEPCO to start the Mawphu Hydro Project as early as possible for the benefits of the area and its people.
This group of women also extended their support to the Joint Action Committee (JAC) under the chairmanship of James M.A. Neng along with three local headmen of Thieddieng, Umblai and Nongsteng for making people of the area aware of the advantages of the project to be executed by NEEPCO.
She said that as per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), NEEPCO had earmarked Rs 1400 lakh for land compensation to be paid to the affected people and other development activities for the area.
According to Mrs. Suna, NEEPCO has also agreed upon to give Rs 25,000 to each household of these villages as one time gift for parting their land besides Rs 2000 monthly payment for 20 years.
Earlier, a group led by JS Sohtun had opposed the project saying that if the project is allowed, they will become refugees as their land and villages will be submerged under water.
However, terming the claim as misinformation and misleading, Suna said that during the public hearings held in May this year, officials of NEEPCO had categorically stated that no area would be submerged as the dam to be constructed is very small and it will affect only small portion of land.
As per the Project Report, NEEPCO required around 110 hectares of land for developing Mawphu Hydro Power project to be able to make it commission within 55 months, if things goes well.
As per the agreement between NEEPCO and the Meghalaya government, 80 percent of jobs in C and D categories will be reserved for local people especially from among the affected villages.
Recently, the Head Project of Mawphu Hydro Power Project, SK Dey said that as per the agreement signed, NEEPCO has to provide 100 units of power for free to all affected villages besides 1 percent free for local area development. Dey also informed that as much as 12 percent free power was to be provided to the Meghalaya government.
As per the project report till August 2016, the total project cost of the project is Rs.907.35 crore which might increase based on the prevailing market situation.
The Mawphu Hydro Power Project will generate 85 megawatt from two units of 42.5 MW each.

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