Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Stop corruption in PWD

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Editor

In these past few days much have been highlighted in your esteemed daily about the sub-standard repair work of GS road and other roads in Meghalaya executed by the PWD. Most blamed this failure of the PWD on corruption and the contractor-politician-technocrat nexus which to a large extent I agree. As a concerned citizen I would like to shed some light on the new contract system, though it may not curb corruption from the PWD but, it may help keep our roads from being the laughing stock if the Government adopts this model. This system is called the Output and Performance-Based Road Contract system ( OPRC). Punjab is the first state in India to adopt this system in the Rs 750 crore World Bank assisted road projects. In this OPRC system, the potholes would be repaired within 24 hours and cracks would be eliminated within three days, otherwise the contractors would have to lose part of their monthly payments. OPRC is aimed at making the contractors more efficient and effective in maintenance of roads and highways. Meghalaya Government can ink the OPRC system with the NHAI and others. This will make contractors accountable for immediate maintenance of roads.

Yours etc

Daminotbha Mawrie,

Via emai

 II

 Editor,

This is about the recently opened bypass at Jowai. Last year the bypass was opened to traffic and all trucks started to use the road along with private traffic. Many thought that the problem caused by the traffic junction at Jowai would now be free of jams and heavy vehicles.

However within 2-3 months the new bypass was washed away and it sank in many places. Trucks with their large tyres could not negotiate the road. So the road was closed and this brand new bypass was again repaired. Even now small vehicles cannot use that road and the poor truckers are forced by the police to take the by-pass even if it means they face the threat of their trucks turning turtle.

We the road users and general public would like an explanation regarding the wastage of public funds in such failed projects from the big shots of PWD.

Yours etc.,

Daniel Kharkongor,

Via email

Of Myntdu-Leshka Project

 Editor,

Every natural resource which is being tapped judiciously is done so to avail the optimum benefit out of it, be it oil, natural gas, coal, etc. So also is the case with the use of optimum water in any river which is being tapped to generate electricity, subject to the constraints of topography, submergence of land, land acquisition, environmental concerns, etc.

The comments by Bah A. Dkhar, Secretary of the Association of Power Engineers, (ST, Nov 8, 2011) on the installed capacity and the financial implications on the implementation of the Myntdu Leshka Hydro Electric Project are improper and inappropriate and shows a lack of understanding on the intricacies involved in the development and generation of hydropower and are therefore misleading to the common man, coming as it is from a responsible person such as him. So much has been in the news regarding this project and people are eager to get an official version from MeECL but the Corporation has remained tight lipped over the execution of this project.

As a person who has a fair idea on hydropower, in let me attempt to explain things. In technological parlance, the Leshka Project would be defined as a run-of-the-river scheme, since it does not have a storage reservoir due to topographical reasons, where the discharge of the river is directly diverted to the powerhouse for the generation of electricity. Since hydro based power is mainly used for meeting the demands during the requirements in the peaking hours, the Project has a small dam just for storing of the water during the day, especially during the winter months, which would be used to generate power during the peaking hours of 3 / 4 hours. But, since the Myntdu basin lies on the southern slopes of the Shillong Plateau and also very close to the Sohra range, it receives a lot of rainfall for about 8 months from March to October and therefore it is prudent to utilize this huge amount of resource that is available during these months to keep an optimum installed capacity in the powerhouse. It would be a sheer waste of this potential if only an installed capacity based on the firm power is being kept in the powerhouse as the discharge during the lean months is very less. By keeping an optimum installed capacity, the planners would have worked out that the tariff expected out of the project would be competitive with the market at a reasonable plant load factor (PLF). In India, a PLF of 40% is considered quite good for a hydropower project and CEA had even allowed stations with PLF as low as 20% in order to have higher installations for peaking requirements which are growing day by day. The PLF for Leshka is estimated at just about 40% which is reasonably good. As for the financial aspects, it is imperative for the MeECL just like any other commercial organization to avail loans in order to create avenues for growth. The servicing of debts just after the commissioning of a project is always likely to be difficult, but in the long term the benefits from the Project would far outweigh the investments, and on which the future generation would benefit. The annual financial revenue that this Project would generate is likely to the tune of Rs. 120 Crores at Rs. 3 / Unit.

Mr Arju Dkhar had contributed immensely to the welfare of the MeECL but on the Leshka Project his comments are a little too premature. His stand over the last few years against the management of MeECL on reducing the losses which are around 35% should however be well supported by one and all, as 35 Paise of every Rupee of power that is being generated is lost on system losses, thefts, manipulations, etc.

Yours etc.,

Pynshai Lyngdoh,

Via email

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