Govt procured 395 transformers last year for rural electrification

SHILLONG: The Power Department procured as many as 395 new transformers in 2018 to improve rural electrification.
To a query posed by Congress MLA Mayralborn Syiem, Power Minister James Sangma said in the Assembly on Thursday that replacement of transformers will be done after dues are cleared.
Again, another Congress MLA George Lyngdoh asked the minister whether the payment of 30 per cent dues is a correct practice.
Lyngdoh argued that villagers have to pay 30 per cent dues before the transformer is replaced, which affects those who pay bills on a regular basis.
According to Sangma, such initiative is put in place to improve revenue and make people more serious about paying their dues.
Pointing out that MeECL is a corporation and has to run by certain rules, Sangma said it owes NEEPCO the pending dues of over Rs 500 crore.
Sangma said the department will explore ways and means to improve revenue collection.
Referring to the urban-rural disparity as pointed out by Lyngdoh in terms of replacing damaged transformers and late distribution of bills, Sangma said, “We are not being unfair to the rural areas and there is no disparity between urban and rural areas.”
He added that the bills get delayed due to connectivity problem. However, he said the department will explore ways and means to address the problem by starting the smart metering or pre-paid metering.
MLA house in dark
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator Saleng Sangma said he was once a victim of power disconnection in his house. He said he was directed to pay the bill and get back power connection.

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